Retired Aug. 1, 1968. Died July 22, 2004.
Maj. Gen. William Edward Creer is deputy commandant, National War College, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C.
General Creer was born in Spanish Fork, Utah, in 1912, received his bachelor of science degree from Brigham Young University in 1934 and a master's degree in international relations from Stanford University in 1949.
He began his military career as an aviation cadet in 1935 and was commissioned in March 1937 at Mitchel Field, N.Y. The early years of his career were filled with various types of pilot duties. He served from 1937 through 1939 with the 17th Attack Group at March Field, Calif., and from 1939 through April 1943 in the Panama Canal Zone. During this tour, the general flew more than 250 hours of anti-submarine patrol in the Caribbean area.
In 1943 he attended the Army Command and General Staff School and became commander of the 346th Bomb Group, Second Air Force. In 1944 he completed the Army-Navy Staff College Course and that same year joined the Eighth Air Force in England as a bomb squadron commander in the 94th Group, moving shortly thereafter into command of the 34th Bomb Group, an assignment he held until the end of the war.
During the war years his bomb group flew 170 combat missions against the enemy over continental Europe. Flying the B-17, General Creer participated in 17 bombing missions as a command combat pilot. Immediately following V-E Day the 34th flew mercy missions, dropping huge cargos of foodstuffs to starving thousands in Holland.
From 1945 until late 1947, he served in the Operations and Training Division of the War Department General Staff in Washington, D.C. Following his two years of advanced studies at Stanford, he was assigned to Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., in 1949. His next SAC assignments took him to Hunter Air Force Base, Ga., and to MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., where in 1954 he established a North Atlantic speed record in a B-47 flight from Brize Norton, England to MacDill.
In 1954, the general was selected to attend the National War College in Washington and upon completion served as chief, Operational Plans Branch, with the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers in Europe, and returned to SAC in 1957 as deputy commander, Sixteenth Air Force, Madrid, Spain.
General Creer returned to the United States in September 1958 to assume command of the 801st Air Division, Lockbourne Air Force Base, Ohio. From September 1960 to August 1962, he commanded the 72nd Bombardment Wing, Ramey Air Force Base, Puerto Rico. Upon return to the United States, the general assumed command of the 45th Air Division at Loring Air Force Base, Maine, and subsequently commanded the 823rd Air Division from May 1964 through June 1966, at which time he assumed command of the 17th Strategic Aerospace Division.
General Creer's decorations include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with two oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross (Great Britain).