Retired Aug. 1, 1982.
Major General William D. Gilbert is director of engineering and services, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Logistics and Engineering, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
General Gilbert was born in 1924, in Downsville, La., and graduated from Farmerville High School in 1942. He received a bachelor of arts degree in 1962 and a master of science degree in 1967 from The George Washington University, Washington, D.C. He graduated from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C., in 1967.
In July 1943, during World War II, he enlisted in the U.S Army Corps of Engineers. He served in North Africa and the China-Burma-India theater with combat engineering units until his release from military service in March 1946.
He re-entered military service in June 1946 in the Army Air Forces. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in September 1949. General Gilbert was called to active duty in that grade in October 1950 and assigned to the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force Recruiting Service in Washington, D.C. In October 1953 he transferred to Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Wiesbaden, Germany, where he served as a personnel officer and later as assistant headquarters commandant.
General Gilbert returned to the United States in January 1957 and served as a personnel officer with the Directorate of Civil Engineering, Headquarters U.S. Air Force. In August 1961 he entered The George Washington University, under the Air Force Institute of Technology program, graduating in September 1962 with a bachelor of arts degree in business management.
General Gilbert next served a short tour of duty in Southeast Asia as a personnel staff officer, Headquarters Military Assistance Command Vietnam. In January 1963 he went to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., where he was assigned as commander of the 803rd Civil Engineering Squadron. From March 1965 to August 1966, he served as commander and deputy commander for civil engineering at Moron Air Base, Spain.
He entered the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in August 1966 and graduated in August 1967. During this period General Gilbert earned his master's degree in business management from The George Washington University. From August 1967 to June 1971, he was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Programs and Resources, first as executive for the deputy director for construction and later as executive for the director of civil engineering.
General Gilbert transferred to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, in June 1971 as director of the Civil Engineering Center. In May 1972 he joined Headquarters Military Airlift Command at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., as deputy chief of staff for civil engineering.
In September 1973 General Gilbert was assigned as deputy chief of staff for civil engineering, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii. In May 1975 he was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Programs and Resources, as deputy director of civil engineering. As a result of an Air Force-directed reorganization, he was designated deputy director of engineering and services in August 1975. On July 1, 1978, General Gilbert was assigned as director of engineering and services. The name of the deputate was changed to Logistics and Engineering.
His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster and Army Commendation medal.
General Gilbert was promoted to major general Jan. 18, 1977, with date of rank Nov. 1, 1973, and advanced to the permanent grade of major general effective Dec. 18, 1979, with date of rank Jan. 8, 1976.
(Current as January 1980)