Retired April 1, 1966. Died Nov. 1, 1973.
Major General William C. Kingsbury assumed command of the 18th Strategic Aerospace Division at Fairchild Air Force Base July 20, 1963.
Prior to his Fairchild assignment, General Kingsbury commanded the 3d Air Division, Guam, Mariana Islands, since July 7, 1961.
William Charles Kingsbury was born in Redlands, Calif., in 1906. General Kingsbury attended the University of Redlands and graduated from the Burdette School of Aviation in 1926. He was appointed a second lieutenant in 1927, following flight training at Kelly Field, Texas.
During his first assignment at Rockwell Field, Calif., General Kingsbury was a pilot of one of the aircraft which refueled the "Question Mark," in which an endurance record of 150 hours was set in 1930.
General Kingsbury entered inactive status with the Air Corps Reserve. In June of 1930 and became district sales manager for the Standard Oil Company of California.
He was ordered back to active duty as a first lieutenant in March 1942, with the assignment as chief of the technical training section, Warner Robins Air Depot, Ga., until 1943 when he was assigned to Bolling Field, Washington, D.C. as engineering officer of the Second Staff Squadron and pilot for Field Marshal Sir John Dill and General Brehon Sumerville.
Following four engine school in the latter part of 1943, General Kingsbury joined the 40th Bombardment Group and left for India where he became commander of the 25th Bombardment Squadron. He held this position until the war ended. During this time, he flew 65 combat missions and logged more than 700 combat hours.
After the end of the war, it was decided to fly three B-29s from Japan to Washington, D.C. nonstop. General Kingsbury and his crew flew the lead aircraft in this flight, with General Curtis E. LeMay, then commander of the 20th Air Force.
After a short period in inactive status, General Kingsbury returned to active duty as a deputy commander of the 509th Bombardment Wing at Roswell, N.M., the only unit capable at that time of delivering atomic weapons.
In 1949, he became director of plans of the 8th Air Force and later commander of the 3904th Composite Wing at Colorado Springs, Colo. In 1953, he. assumed command of the 9th Bombardment Wing at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., and three months later moved to Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. In 1957, he became commander of the 47th Air Division at Walker Air Force Base, N.M.
His headquarters moved to Castle Air Force Base in July 1959, at which time the 93d Bombardment Wing became part of the 47th Air Division.
General Kingsbury is a rated command pilot with more than 8,500 hours flying time and is qualified as an aircraft commander of the B-52 and B-47.
Among his decorations are the Distinguished Flying Cross with two oak leaf clusters, the Bronze Star, the Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, the Unit Citation with two oak leaf clusters and the Legion of Merit.