Retired Aug. 1, 1963. Died Aug. 6, 1996.
Sam Wilkerson Agee was born in Silver City, N.M., in 1912. He attended high school in Silver City and also the New Mexico Military Institute at Roswell, N.M.
He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1937, and won his wings at Randolph and Kelly fields a year later. His first assignment in the Air Corps was to Hamilton Field, Calif. Following normal pre-World War II duties, and a promotion to captain, he was transferred to England in July 1942 as a major with the 301st Bomb Group (Heavy). In November of the same year, as a lieutenant colonel, he took command of the 319th Medium Bombardment Group in North Africa. He achieved the rank of colonel on Dec. 29, 1942.
On a combat mission in December 1942 over Bizerte, Tunisia, Colonel Agee was shot down and became a prisoner of Rommel's Afrika Corps. He escaped from a prisoner-of-war train in Italy in November 1943, walked through the area of Mount Cassino and returned to the Allied lines.
From January 1944 until December 1945, Colonel Agee was assigned to Headquarters, Army Air Forces in Washington. In 1946, he went to the Azores as deputy base commander and later became commander. Upon return to the United States, he served a brief tour as assistant for transport operations, Atlantic Division, Air Transport Command, then attended the Armed Forces Staff College, graduating in March of 1948. He served briefly in the Directorate of Research and Development, Deputy Chief of Staff, Materiel, Headquarters, U.S. Air Force, in Washington. He later became director of personnel, Headquarters, Military Air Transport Service, again in the Washington area.
In February 1950, Colonel Agee assumed the position of chief, Air Force section, Military Assistance Group in London, England. Upon return to the United States, he attended the National War College and after graduation in June 1954, was reassigned to the 27th Air Division (Defense) in San Bernardino, Calif., as vice commander. After promotion to brigadier general in October 1954, he took over command of the 9th Air Division (Defense) at Spokane, Wash., in January 1955.
In August 1957, he became assistant deputy for operations for the Air Defense Command at Colorado Springs, Colo. In May 1958, he assumed the position of vice commander, Eastern Air Defense Force, Newburgh, N.Y., after promotion to major general March 10 of the same year. On Aug. 15, 1958, General Agee became commander of the 26th Air Division at Syracuse, N.Y. On July 1, 1960, General Agee assumed duty as director of operations, Deputy Chief of Staff/Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
On March 5, 1963, the general became special assistant to the commander, Air Force Communications Service, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., and April 1, 1963, General Agee assumed duty as deputy commander of the Air Force Communications Service.
General Agee has been awarded the Legion of Merit and the Purple Heart and holds the rating of command pilot.