Retired June 1, 1974.
Maj. Gen. William E. Bryan Jr., is deputy chief of staff for operations and intelligence, Allied Forces Central Europe, with headquarters in Brunssum, The Netherlands. In this position, he is responsible for the planning and implementation of operations and intelligence at this seven-nation NATO headquarters. He also serves as Senior U.S. representative to the headquarters.
General Bryan was born in Flint, Mich., in 1921, where he graduated from Flint High School in 1939. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in March 1942; entered aviation cadet training in June 1942; and received his pilot wings and commission as second lieutenant in February 1943.
During World War II, he served with the 339th Fighter Group in Europe. He flew the P-51 Mustang aircraft in 114 combat missions and was credited with 8 1/2 enemy planes destroyed. At the end of the war in December 1945, General Bryan returned to the United States. He served at Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Langley Air Force Base, Va., and then as an advisor to Air National Guard fighter squadrons in Minnesota and South Dakota. In August 1949 he was assigned as operations and training officer for an Air Force Reserve wing at Scott Air Force Base, Ill.
During the Korean War in August 1950, General Bryan was assigned to the 18th Fighter Bomber Wing, and flew 121 combat missions, again in the P-51 Mustang. He returned from Korea in April 1951 and was assigned to Headquarters Tactical Air Command with duties involving joint air-ground tactical doctrine under the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations. He attended the Armed Forces' Staff College, Norfolk, Va., from January 1955 to June 1955 and then was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force with the Tactical Fighter Branch in the Directorate of Requirements.
From August 1959 to August 1962, General Bryan served as chief, Air Offense Division, at Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Wiesbaden, Germany. On his return to the United States, he entered the National War College, Washington, D.C. After graduation in July 1963, he was assigned to Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., as commandant of the Air Force Fighter Weapons School and later was vice commander of the 4520th Combat Crew Training Wing.
General Bryan was commander of the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., from January 1965 until January 1966, when he assumed duties as commander of the 831st Air Division, George Air Force Base, Calif. His next assignment was as deputy chief of staff, U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam in November 1967. In June 1969 he returned to the United States and was assigned as chief of staff for Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Langley Air Force Base, Va.
In December 1970 General Bryan assumed duties as commander of the Nineteenth Air Force, TAC, with headquarters at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. He was transferred to Allied Forces Central Europe headquarters in July 1972 with duties as deputy chief of staff for operations and intelligence and as senior U.S. representative to the headquarters.
General Bryan is a command pilot with more than 5,000 hours of flying time. His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with four oak leaf clusters, Bronze Star Medal, and Air Medal with 23 oak leaf clusters.
He was promoted to the grade of major general effective May 1, 1970, with date of rank Aug. 10, 1965.