Retired Aug. 1, 1984.
Major General William G. MacLaren Jr. is the assistant director of command, control and communications systems, International Military Staff, Headquarters North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Brussels, Belgium.
General MacLaren was born in 1928, in Chicago. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1951 with a bachelor of science degree in industrial engineering and earned a master of science degree in industrial engineering from Syracuse (N.Y.) University in 1958. He completed Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., in 1953; Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1963; and Air War College, also at Maxwell Air Force Base, in 1971.
The general received his commission in the U.S. Air Force as a distinguished graduate of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps program at the University of Pittsburgh and entered active duty in February 1951. He attended flying training at Goodfellow and Webb Air Force bases, Texas, and received his pilot wings in December 1952. He then received combat crew training at Moody Air Force Base, Ga., and Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.
In September 1953 he transferred to the 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing at Kimpo Air Base, South Korea. He later went to Komaki Air Base, Japan, as an RF-80 and RF-86 pilot and as squadron operations officer with the 15th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron. He returned to the United States in late 1954 and was assigned to the 363rd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., where he flew RF-84s and RF-101s in the 17th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, and served as group operations officer for the 363rd Tactical Reconnaissance Group. In July 1957 he entered Syracuse University as a graduate student under the Air Force Institute of Technology program.
General MacLaren was then assigned to the Strategic Air Command's 2nd Bombardment Wing at Hunter Air Force Base, Ga., in August 1958 where he flew B-47s. In September 1961 he transferred to the 410th Bombardment Wing at K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base, Mich., to fly B-52H's as a standardization and evaluation instructor pilot. While there he completed the Industrial College of the Armed Forces by correspondence.
In January 1964 General MacLaren was selected to participate in the U.S. Air Force-Royal Air Force exchange program. He began his tour of duty in England by attending the Royal Air Force Staff College at Andover throughout 1964. Following his graduation "with distinction," he was sent to Royal Air Force Station Finningley in January 1965. After completing Royal Air Force upgrade training, he was assigned to the 230th Operational Conversion Unit as chief flying instructor. He was the first American to be fully qualified as an aircraft commander in the British Vulcan bomber.
Returning to the United States in May 1967, General MacLaren entered EB-66 training at Shaw Air Force Base. In September 1967 he joined the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing at Takhli Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, serving as chief of standardization and evaluation and as assistant deputy commander for EB-66 operations. He flew 142 combat missions in Southeast Asia.
From September 1968 to August 1970, General MacLaren was assigned to the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C., as a member of the Chairman's Special Studies Group. He completed Air War College, as a distinguished graduate, in May 1971, and was then assigned to Minot Air Force Base, N.D., as vice commander of the 5th Bombardment Wing. In May 1972 he assumed command of the wing.
In August 1974 General MacLaren moved to March Air Force Base, Calif., where he was assigned to 15th Air Force headquarters as chief of staff, with additional duties as vice commander in January 1975. From July 1975 to June 1978, he was commander of the Pacific Communications Area with headquarters at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, with additional duty as deputy chief of staff, communications-electronics, Pacific Air Forces.
General MacLaren became the vice commander of Air Force Communications Service at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., in June 1978. He then returned to Washington, D.C., to become director of command and control, and telecommunications, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans and Operations at Air Force headquarters. He assumed his present duties in July 1981.
The general is a command pilot and has 6,000 flying hours. He also wears the Senior Missile and Air Traffic Controller badges. His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with two oak leaf clusters, Bronze Star Medal with "V" device, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with seven oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Distinguished Unit Citation Emblem with two oak leaf clusters, Navy Presidential Unit Citation Emblem, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Ribbon and Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with palm. General MacLaren has also been awarded the Joint Chiefs of Staff identification badge and the badge of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization International Military Staff.
He was promoted to major general Dec. 4, 1980, with date of rank Aug. 1, 1977.