Retired Sep. 1, 1974. Died July 14, 1987.
Major General Salvador E. Felices is vice commander of Sixteenth Air Force with headquarters at Torrejon Air Base, Spain. As vice commander, he is responsible for providing surveillance of assigned forces in Spain, Italy, Greece and Turkey and serving as the single point of contact with host governments.
General Felices was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico, in 1923. He attended the A and M College of the University of Puerto Rico until 1943 when he received a congressional appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. He received his flying training while a cadet at the academy at Curtis Field, Texas, and Stewart Field, N.Y. He was awarded his pilot wings one day prior to graduation from West Point on June 4, 1946.
After graduation, he attended multi-engine transition training at Enid, Okla., and was assigned to Strategic Air Command, in September 1946. He served with the 97th Bombardment Wing at Schilling Air Force Base, Kan., during 1946 and 1947, as a B-29 pilot and also as assistant legal officer, flight test officer and assistant wing adjutant. After completing the weaponeer training course at Sandia Base, N.M., he was assigned to the 43d Bombardment Wing at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., from 1948 to 1951, as an aircraft commander in B-29 and B-50 aircraft. In 1952 he was assigned to the newly formed 303d Bombardment Wing as the 359th Bombardment Squadron operations officer. During this assignment he represented the 303d Wing in the SAC bombing competition by participating in an old B-29 equipped with the APQ-7 radar set and a Norden bombsight rate head. This innovative approach led to the current techniques of synchronous radar bombing.
In 1953 during the Korean War, he was assigned to the 98th Bombardment Wing at Yokota Air Base, Japan, as combat operations officer for the 344th Bombardment Squadron, and flew 19 combat missions over North Korea.
From February 1954 through January 1957, he was stationed at Castle Air Force Base, Calif., where he held a variety of operational assignments. He was a B-47 aircraft commander while working in the B-52 special project office; completed the B-52 instructor course in 1955, and as a B-52 instructor pilot participated in January 1957 in Operation POWER-FLITE, the first around-the-world flight by all-jet aircraft. He next attended the Boeing Company ground school for the KC-135, and then participated in the flight test program for the KC-135. General Felices was the first SAC instructor pilot in that aircraft and wrote the flight curriculum and initial qualification requirements for future SAC pilots. He was assigned as operations officer of the first KC-135 squadron and picked up the first KC-135 delivered to SAC in July 1957. While at Castle, he was pilot for the first flight in a KC-135 made by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, generals Twining, White, Taylor and McPate and Admiral Burke.
In late 1957 General Felices was transferred to Fifteenth Air Force headquarters at March Air Force Base, Calif., where he served with the Office of the Inspector General; then was chief of the Operations Branch; and in 1959 became chief of Current Operations. In 1958 he was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal by General John D. Ryan for landing a B-52 without the right rear landing gear. General Felices next served successively as commander of the 903d Refueling Squadron of the 456th Bombardment Wing, Beale Air Force Base, Calif., 1961 - 1964; attended the National War College, Washington, D.C., 1964 - 1965; was chief, Reconnaissance Operations Division, in the Directorate of Operations, Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1965 - 1967; and commander of the 416th Bombardment Wing at Griffiss Air Force Base, N.Y., 1967 - 1968.
In June 1968 he assumed command of the 306th Bombardment Wing at McCoy Air Force Base, Fla. As commander, he went with the wing to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, in October 1968 and flew 39 combat missions over Vietnam in B-52 aircraft. In April 1969 General Felices became commander of the 823d Air Division at McCoy Air Force Base. In this position, he was responsible for the effectiveness and capability of four bombardment wings at McCoy Air Force Base; Ramey Air Force Base, Puerto Rico; Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C.; and Robins Air Force Base, Ga.
General Felices was assigned to Headquarters Strategic Air Command in May 1970, as assistant deputy chief of staff, materiel, and became deputy chief of staff for logistics in September 1971. In that position, he was responsible for aircraft and missile maintenance, procurement, supply and services, transportation, munitions, logistics plans and logistics analysis throughout SAC. In July 1972 General Felices became commander of the 1st Strategic Aerospace Division (SAC), Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., where he was responsible for controlling and conducting SAC intercontinental ballistic missile operational testing programs, and providing management, operational analysis and materiel support to all SAC and tenant units located at Vandenberg.
He became vice commander of Sixteenth Air Force, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Torrejon Air Base, Spain, in August 1973.
His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Ribbon with two oak leaf clusters, and the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon.
He was promoted to the temporary grade of major general effective Jan. 1, 1972, with date of rank April 9, 1968, and to the permanent grade of major general effective April 2, 1973, with date of rank Oct. 8, 1970.