Retired Aug. 1, 1968. Died Oct. 11, 1997.
Maj. Gen. Theodore Cleveland Bedwell, Jr., is the director of staff, Office, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Manpower-Health and Medical) Washington, D.C. He coordinates and directs staff activities for the deputy assistant secretary who is the principal adviser to the assistant secretary of Defense (Manpower) for plans, policies, and programs relating to all health activities.
General Bedwell was born in Caddo Mills, Texas, in 1909. He graduated from Sulphur Springs High School, Texas, in 1926; then he attended Northeast Missouri State College, Kirksville, Mo., and Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, from which he was awarded a bachelor of science degree in 1931. He received his doctor of medicine degree from Baylor University Medical College in June 1933. Upon graduation he was commissioned a first lieutenant in the Medical Corps Reserve of the U.S. Army.
In November 1935, General Bedwell was ordered to active duty and assigned to Fitzsimons General Hospital, Denver, Colo., where he served until 1939. He was assistant chief of surgery, U.S. Army Hospital, Fort Knox, Ky., from November 1939 to September 1940. After attending the U.S. Army Medical Field Service School and a graduate course at the Harvard Medical School of Public Health, he served as chief of industrial medicine in the Preventive Medicine Division, Office of the Army Surgeon General.
General Bedwell's first Army Air Forces assignment was as a student in the Flight Surgeon's Course at the U.S. Army Air Forces School of Aviation Medicine. He graduated in 1942 and was assigned to McClellan Field, Calif., as base surgeon and hospital commanding officer. During World War II, he served as hospital commander, base surgeon, and command surgeon for the Air Materiel Command, Hill Field, Utah; and as commanding officer of the Regional Hospital and area surgeon for the Warner Robins Air Materiel Area. While at Warner Robins Field, Ga., he organized the 6th Central Medical Establishment.
From February 1946 to March 1948, General Bedwell served at Headquarters Air Materiel Command, Wright Field, Ohio, first as deputy surgeon and chief of industrial medicine, and later as command surgeon. In April 1948, he was assigned to the Far East Air Forces as staff surgeon for Fifth Air Force at Nagoya, Japan.
After returning to the United States, he attended Johns Hopkins School for Hygiene and Public Health, Baltimore, Md., and the Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. Following graduation from the Air War College, he was assigned to the staff of the Assistant Secretary for Health and Medicine in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. From 1953 to 1956 he was chief of preventive medicine in the Office of the Surgeon General, U.S. Air Force.
During the period of July 1956 to February 1961, General Bedwell served as deputy surgeon, then command surgeon of the Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. He was appointed commander, U.S. Air Force Aerospace Medical Center Feb. 1, 1961. On Nov. 1, 1961, when the Aerospace Medical Center was transferred to the Air Force Systems Command as its Aerospace Medical Division, he was retained as its commander. In January 1966, the general was elevated to the position of assistant to the surgeon general, U.S. Air Force, and in July 1966, he became the director of staff, Office, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Manpower-Health and Medical), Washington, D.C., his present position.
General Bedwell is author and co-author of seven professional publications in the fields of aviation medicine, military medicine, aerospace medicine, and public health. He holds the rating of chief flight surgeon and is a member of numerous medical associations and societies, some of which are: Association of Military Surgeons, American Medical Association, fellow and past president of the Aerospace Medical Association, and the Royal Society of Health in England. General Bedwell is certified by the American Board of Preventive Medicine as a specialist in Preventive Medicine (1951), Aviation Medicine (Founders' Group - 1953), and Occupational Medicine (Founders' Group - 1956).
In June 1962, the American Medical Association honored General Bedwell for his contribution to the Nation's man in space effort by conferring upon him a "Special Aerospace Medicine Honor Citation." He was presented the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Southern Methodist University in March 1966.
His decorations include the Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster and the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation.