Retired March 1, 1973. Died June 8, 1996.
Major General William P. McBride is deputy chief of staff, operations, Tactical Air Command, Langley Air Force Base, Va.
General McBride was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1916. He graduated from the Corpus Christi Academy, in 1933, and entered military service in December 1941, as an aviation cadet. He received his pilot wings and commission as a second lieutenant, in 1942.
During World War II, he served in the Mediterranean and European Theaters of Operation flying 146 combat missions and accruing 384 combat hours. He served in North Africa with the 33d Fighter Group from November 1942 until August 1943, when he returned to the United States to lend combat experience to new fighter groups being organized. He went to England in January 1944 as operations officer and later became commander of the 371st Fighter Group.
He continued as a combat fighter pilot until the end of the war in Europe. When the 371st Group returned to the United States in May 1,945, he remained in Europe with the Army of Occupation as commander of the 36th Fighter Group at Rothwesten, Germany. When the 36th Group returned to the United States, he became deputy commander of the 355th Fighter Group.
General McBride returned to the United States in October 1946, and served with the 20th Fighter Group as commander of the 79th Fighter Squadron, Shaw Field, S.C. In April 1950 he was assigned to the Fleet Marine Force Atlantic, Norfolk, Va., as a staff officer in G-3 (Operations). While attached to the U.S. Marine Corps he served six weeks aboard the USS Albemarle in the Caribbean. In May 1950 he became commander of the 502d Tactical Control Group at Pope Air Force Base, N.C.
During the Korean War, he left for Korea with the 502d Tactical Control Group in August 1950 and served as commander of that unit until February 1951, when he assumed command of the 35th Fighter Group. When the 35th Group left for Japan in May 1951, General McBride remained in Korea as commander of the 18th Fighter Group. In June 1951 he was wounded while on a flight over North Korea. After six weeks in the hospital in Japan he was back in Korea as chief, Combat Operations, Fifth Air Force, in Seoul.
He returned to the United States in April 1952 and was assigned to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, D.C., as a member of the Weapons Systems Evaluation Group.
In January 1954 General McBride was sent to Izmir, Turkey, as director of operations, Sixth Allied Tactical Air Force. He remained there until his transfer to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, in December 1956,as deputy chief of staff for operations, 58th Air Division. He next became deputy chief of staff, operations, for the 26th Air Division, Roslyn, N.Y., and later moved with the division to Hancock Field, N.Y.
In June 1961 he became deputy commander, 50th Tactical Fighter Wing, Hahn Air Base, Germany, and then became commander in July 1962. He moved to Spangdahlem, Germany, in February 1963, as commander, 49th Tactical Fighter Wing.
He returned to the United States in September 1964 and went to England Air Force, Base, La., as commander, 401st Tactical Fighter Wing, and in June 1965 he became commander of the 834th Air Division. In June 1966 he was transferred to Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., as deputy for operations, Ninth Air Force. He assumed duties in October 1967 as commander of Task Force "A", Pacific Air Forces. In February 1969 he was appointed vice commander, Twelfth Air Force, at Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas.
General McBride was assigned to Tactical Air Command Headquarters, Langley Air Force Base, Va., in October 1969, as deputy chief of staff, materiel, and in February 1970 he became deputy chief of staff, operations.
His military decorations and awards include the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross with two oak leaf clusters, Bronze Star Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with 16 oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Purple Heart, Distinguished Unit Citation Emblem, Croix de Guerre with Bronze Palm (France), and the Distinguished Flying Cross of Great Britain.
General McBride's hometown Realitos, Texas.
He was promoted to the temporary grade of major general effective March 1, 1969, with date of rank Dec. 14, 1964.