Retired June 1, 1982.
Major General Wayne E. Whitlatch is commander of the Air Force Test and Evaluation Center, a separate operating agency, located at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.
General Whitlatch was born in 1928, in Nebraska City, Neb., and graduated from high school in Omaha, Neb. He received a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley, in 1950; a master of science degree in aeronautical engineering from Oklahoma State University at Stillwater, in 1963; and a master of science degree in international affairs from The George Washington University, Washington, D.C., in 1970. He is also a graduate of Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., and the National War College at Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in June 1951 and later became an aviation cadet. He received his pilot wings and commission as a second lieutenant in February 1953. He then was assigned as a fighter pilot with the 27th Strategic Fighter Wing at Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas, where he served for five years.
In August 1958 he transferred to the 81st Fighter-Bomber Wing at Royal Air Force Station Bentwaters, England. In May 1959 he joined a detachment in Wiesbaden, Germany, flying F-84F's with North Atlantic Treaty Organization fighter units throughout Europe.
General Whitlatch returned to the United States in May 1961 and attended Oklahoma State University under an Air Force Institute of Technology program. After graduation in June 1963, he served in the Directorate of Plans and Policy at Headquarters North American Air Defense Command, Ent Air Force Base, Colo. From August 1965 to June 1966, he attended Air Command and Staff College.
He then transferred to Southeast Asia and served with the 1st Air Commando Squadron, at Pleiku Air Base, Republic of Vietnam, where he flew A-IE Skyraiders. He moved to Saigon in April 1967 to serve as executive assistant to the commander of the U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam.
In July 1968 he was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., in the Directorate of Operational Requirements and Development Plans. Following graduation from the National War College in October 1970 he was assigned to the 49th Tactical Fighter Wing at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., where he served successively as assistant director of operations, director of operations and vice commander. In May 1972 he took command of the wing.
General Whitlatch became vice commander, U.S. Air Force Tactical Air Warfare Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., in May 1973. In October 1974 he was named assistant director, tactical systems test and evaluation, Office of the Secretary of Defense. He assumed duties as the principal assistant director, test and evaluation, in September 1975.
He returned to Europe in June 1977 as deputy chief of staff for operations and intelligence at the Brunssum, Netherlands, headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's Allied Forces Central Europe. He assumed his present command in June 1980.
The general is a command pilot. His military decorations and awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with seven oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal and Good Conduct Medal.
He was promoted to major general Sept. 1, 1975, with date of rank June 1, 1973.