Retired Sep. 1, 1976.
Major General William M. Schoning is the director of the Inter-American Defense College at Fort L.J. McNair, Washington, D.C. The college is a senior service school for military personnel and civilian officials of the member nations of the Inter-American Defense Board. Its course of studies focuses on the Inter-American System and the political, social, economic, and military factors that constitute essential elements for the defense of the Western Hemisphere.
General Schoning was born in 1922, in Seattle, Wash., where he graduated from Garfield High School in 1940 and entered the University of Washington that same year. He has a bachelor of arts degree in accounting, 1948, and a master's degree in business administration, 1950, from the University of Washington; and a master's degree in international affairs from The George Washington University, 1968. He is a graduate of the National War College, 1968.
His military career began in May 1943 when he entered active service under the aviation cadet program. He graduated in August 1944 with a commission as second lieutenant and his pilot wings. He then received glider pilot training and flew 80 missions in the European Theater of Operations with the 316th Troop Carrier Group. He was released from active military duty in October 1945 and returned to the University of Washington where he received his degree and was a member of Beta Alpha Psi, national accounting honorary society. While attending the university he worked as auditor for the National Public Service Insurance Company in Seattle and was a member of the Air Force Reserve.
During the Korean War, General Schoning was recalled to active military duty with the Air Force in September 1950 and assigned to Strategic Air Command. He served as a personnel staff officer at Headquarters Fifteenth Air Force, March Air Force Base, Calif. In January 1953 he was transferred to Headquarters Far East Air Forces Bomber Command at Yokota, Japan, where he served as deputy director of personnel and flew B-29 bombing missions over Korea.
In October 1953 General Schoning returned from overseas and again was assigned to Headquarters Fifteenth Air Force, this time as chief, personnel plans and analysis, Directorate of Personnel. He also served as an instructor pilot and president of the Standardization Board. In July 1958 he entered B-52 Combat Crew Training School at Castle Air Force Base, Calif.
He was transferred to Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., in October 1958 where he was a B-52 aircraft commander and instructor pilot with the 92d Bombardment Wing; and from May 1959 to October 1962, he was commander of the 326th Bombardment Squadron. During this time, the 92d Wing received the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for its pioneer work in night heavy-weight air refueling on 24-hour missions under Project HEADSTART. In February 1961 General Schoning moved his squadron to Glasgow Air Force Base, Mont., as the nucleus for the organization of the 4141st Strategic Wing. In its first year, this became the top wing in Fifteenth Air Force.
In October 1962 he was assigned to Strategic Air Command headquarters, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., where he became deputy chief, Aircraft Training Branch, Directorate of Operations. In August 1964 he was assigned as deputy chief, Control Division. He was an active T-39 aircraft instructor pilot while assigned to Headquarters SAC.
In January 1966 General Schoning was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force in the Directorate of Plans, Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans and Operations, where he was chief, Strategic Plans Branch. In August 1967 he entered the National War College, Washington, D.C. After graduation in May 1968, he was reassigned to the Directorate of Plans as deputy assistant for joint matters; in September 1969 became assistant director for joint and national security council matters; and in December 1971 was named deputy director for plans and policy with additional duty as the Air Force delegate to the United States delegation, Inter-American Defense Board; Air Force member, United States delegation, Joint Brazil-United States Defense Commission; and Air Force member, United States Section, Joint Mexican-United States Defense Commission.
From April 1973 to July 1974, General Scboning was appointed acting deputy assistant secretary of defense for policy plans and national security council affairs, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (International Security Affairs), Washington, D.C. He then became commander of the 1st Strategic Aerospace Division at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
General Schoning assumed the directorship of the Inter-American Defense College at Fort L. J. McNair, Washington, D.C., in August 1975.
His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal; Legion of Merit; Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters; Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters; Army Commendation Medal; Air Force Outstanding Unit Award; and from the Republic of Brazil, the Ordem do Merito Aeronautico, Grau de Comendador. He is a command pilot and has also earned the Missileman Badge. In addition he holds a commercial pilot's license with instrument and sea plane ratings.
General Schoning's hometown is Seattle, Wash.
He was promoted to the grade of major general with date of rank Aug. 1, 1969.