Retired Jan. 1, 1968. Died Dec. 19, 2003.
Maj. Gen. William Brewer Keese is chief of staff, Headquarters Air Defense Command, Ent Air Force Base, Colo. Appointed in June 1964, he supervises, directs and coordinates the activities of the Headquarters ADC staff, advising and assisting the commander and vice commander, ADC.
A native of Wyoming, N.J., General Keese was born in 1910. He received his high school education in Millburn, N.J. and was a Reserve Officer Training Corps graduate from Cornell University from which he received a bachelor of science degree in 1932.
He enrolled as a flying cadet in 1933 and attended flying schools at Randolph and Kelly fields, Texas. Following completion of pilot training in February 1934, General Keese was assigned to Barksdale Field, La., where he served with the 20th Pursuit Group until reassigned to the Panama Canal Zone in April 1935.
Returning to the United States in May 1937, he served a short tour at Mitchel Field, N.Y. This was followed by six years in the Training Command at Randolph, Perrin and Blackland fields, Texas. From July to October 1943, he commanded the Keese Provisional Group at Wendover, Utah.
In October 1943, General Keese supervised the forming of the 484th Bomb Group, which he commanded and took overseas to the Mediterranean Theater of Operations. Prior to returning to the Zone of Interior in April 1945, he flew 35 heavy bombardment missions for a total of 260 hours of combat flying.
From June 1945 to August 1947, General Keese again was assigned to the Air Training Command, where he served as assistant chief of staff, operations, for the Eastern Flying Training Center at Maxwell Field, Ala., with subsequent assignment as director of training for the Western Flying Training Center, and later as chief of the Plans Division for Flying Training Command at Randolph Field, Texas.
In June 1948, General Keese graduated from the Air War College and was assigned to Puerto Rico, where he assumed duties as chief of staff of the Antilles Air Division and later became commander of Ramey Air Force Base.
Returning to the United States in August 1950, General Keese served as staff plans officer, Policy Division, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, and in July 1952 was appointed chief of the International Branch, Policy Division, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. In December 1953 he went to London, England, where he attended the British Imperial Defence College. In January 1955 he was assigned as the director of plans for Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Wiesbaden, Germany.
Relinquishing his duties with USAFE in July 1957, he returned to the United States and was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force as the deputy director of military personnel, Deputy Chief of Staff/Personnel. In June 1960, he became the director of development planning, Headquarters U.S. Air Force. General Keese became deputy chief of staff/plans, Headquarters Air Force Systems Command in July 1962. He assumed his present position - chief of staff, Headquarters ADC, Ent Air Force Base, Colo., June 20, 1964.
His decorations include the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Croix de Guerre with Palm (France), Brevet Militaire de Pilote D'Avion (France) and the Legion of Honor Chevalier (France). He is a command pilot.