Retired May 1, 1970. Died May 19, 2005.
Major General William Dumont Greenfield is commander of the Central North American Air Defense Region and Tenth Air Force. The Central North American Air Defense Region provides aerospace defense for the north central part of the United States and the southern half of four Canadian provinces. The Tenth Air Force, as part of Air Defense Command, is responsible for training and equipping U.S. Air Force organizations for use in the aerospace defense of the region which is equipped with a Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) system.
General Greenfield is a native of Dayton, Ohio. He graduated from Oakwood High School in Dayton in 1932, Miami University at Oxford, Ohio, in 1936. He entered the Army Air Corps flying school in August 1939 at Lincoln, Neb., and went on to basic and advanced flying schools at Kelly and Randolph fields, Texas, where, in May 1940, he received his pilot wings and commission as second lieutenant in the Army Air Corps.
His first assignment after graduation was with the 8th Pursuit Group at Langley Field, Va., where he flew the Curtiss P-36. In early 1941 General Greenfield was one of the twelve pilots selected by the Army Air Corps from squadrons throughout the United States to go to Great Britain to obtain firsthand knowledge of fighter tactics used by the Royal Air Force. While in Great Britain he flew Spitfires with RAF squadrons.
In April 1942 he was assigned as operations officer of the 80th Pursuit Squadron and accompanied this unit to the Southwest Pacific where he flew combat missions over New Guinea. He returned to the United States in November 1942 and assumed command of the 313th Fighter Squadron at the Army Air Forces Tactical School in Florida. In December 1943 he was assigned as commander of the 50th Fighter Group at Orlando, Fla., and went with the group to Europe in March 1944 and, operating under the Ninth Air Force, participated in the Normandy invasion. The group, led by General Greenfield, provided fighter cover for the first wave of landing forces on the Normandy beachhead and participated in air operations throughout the European Theater of Operations.
General Greenfield returned to the United States in November 1944 and was assigned to the Army Air Forces Board engaged in combat analysis and evaluation. In October 1945 he returned to civilian life and flew with Trans-World Airlines. During this period he was in the inactive Reserve, and in July 1946 he accepted a regular commission in the Army Air Forces and returned to active duty. He was assigned to the operations staff at Army Air Forces Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
In September 1949 General Greenfield was appointed chief of the U.S. Air Force Mission to Venezuela and served in this post until August 1952, when he returned to the United States and entered the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
In June 1953 General Greenfield was assigned to the Air Defense Command as commander of the 4706th Air Defense Wing at O'Hare International Airport, Ill. In January 1955 he transferred to Presque Isle Air Force Base, Maine, as commander of the 4711th Air Defense Wing. He continued in assignments with the Air Defense Command serving as assistant deputy for operations, Headquarters Eastern Air Defense Force from March 1956 to March 1958.
General Greenfield next served as commander of the 316th Air Division located at Rabat, Morocco. In July 1960 General Greenfield was again assigned to the Air Defense Command as commander of the Syracuse Air Defense Sector (SAGE) at Hancock Field, N.Y. In August 1961 he was named vice commander of the 26th Air Division, also located at Hancock Field. One year later he assumed command of the Boston Air Defense Sector, Stewart Air Force Base, N.Y.
In July 1963 he was transferred to Truax Field, Wis., as commander of the Chicago Air Defense Sector. The following year he was named assistant deputy chief of staff, operations, at Headquarters Air Defense Command and moved up to the position of deputy chief of staff, operations, in January 1965. He held this position until October 1967 when he was designated commander of the Central North American Air Defense Region with additional duty as commander, Tenth Air Force, located at Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base, Mo.
His military decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal with seven oak leaf clusters, Croix de Guerre with Palm (Belgium), Croix de Guerre with Palm (France), and Air Force Cross (Venezuela). General Greenfield is a command pilot with more than 5,000 flying hours.