Retired Sep. 1, 1977. Died July 3, 1998.
Major General William R. Hayes is commander of the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center, Robins Air Force Base, Ga. The center is logistics manager for the F-15 air superiority fighter and for most of the U.S. Air Force's transport aircraft, helicopters, air-to-air missiles, surface motor vehicles, airborne electronics and ground support equipment.
General Hayes was born in Yonkers, N.Y., in 1921. He studied business administration at the University of California at Riverside and the University of Omaha, Neb. In October 1942 he entered active military duty as an aviation cadet and in July 1943 received his commission as second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Corps and his pilot wings.
During World War II, General Hayes served as a B-24 pilot with the 448th and the 93d Bombardment Wings in the European Theater of Operations. During this time, he completed 30 combat missions and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. He returned to the United States and served as a pilot instructor and flight test officer from January 1945 to November 1945, when he was released from active duty.
During the Korean War, General Hayes returned to active military duty in March 1951 and was assigned to the Strategic Air Command as a maintenance squadron commander at March Air Force Base, Calif. In May 1952 he was assigned to the 98th Bombardment Wing at Yokota Air Base, Japan. Following his return to the United States, he attended Maintenance Management School at Chanute Air Force Base, Ill.
In April 1955 General Hayes was appointed chief of maintenance, Headquarters 320th Bombardment Wing, March Air Force Base, Calif. He was ordered in June 1958 to SAC Headquarters at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., as chief of the Aircraft Branch. He served from August 1961 to April 1965 as deputy commander for maintenance, Headquarters 93d Bombardment Wing, Castle Air Force Base, Calif.
General Hayes next went to Beale Air Force Base, Calif., as deputy commander for maintenance, Headquarters 4200th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, which was redesignated the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing in June 1966. He was appointed vice commander of the 9th Wing in October 1966 and in December 1966 assumed command. In that position, he was responsible for bringing the SR-71 aircraft into operational-ready status. In July 1969 he was assigned to the National War College, Washington, D.C., as a student.
In June 1970 he assumed duties as assistant for logistics planning, Deputy Chief of Staff, Systems and Logistics, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. In May 1972 he became deputy director for logistics (J-4) for Headquarters U.S. European Command at Stuttgart, Germany.
General Hayes assumed duties as director of maintenance, engineering, and supply in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Systems and Logistics, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., in May 1974. He became commander of the Warner Robins ALC in September 1975.
His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters, and Air Force Commendation Medal.
He was promoted to the grade of major general effective April 2, 1973, with date of rank Aug. 1, 1969.