Retired. Died April 23, 1994.
Wycliffe Eugene Steele was born in Bingham, S.C., in 1904. He graduated from high school at Ocala, Fla., and received his bachelor of arts degree from Wofford College, Spartanburg, S.C. in 1928, and based on his ROTC training was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Infantry Reserve.
Enlisting in the service as a flying cadet, General Steele entered Primary Flying School at Brooks Field, Texas, graduated from Advanced Flying School at Kelly Field, Texas, and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Air Reserve on June 22, 1929. He received his Regular commission as a second lieutenant in the Air Corps on September 4, 1929.
General Steele was then assigned to the Second Bomb Group at Langley Field, Va., took a six month course at the Armament School at Chanute Field, Ill., in 1931, and returned to the Second Bomb Group. In January 1935 he joined the 28th Bomb Squadron at Nichols Field, Rizal Philippine Islands and transferred to Savannah Air Base, Ga., in July 1940. The next May the general joined the 46th Bomb Group at Bowman Field, Ky., moving to MacDill Field, Fla., in January 1942.
Going to Cairo, Egypt, in June of that year, General Steele was assigned to Ninth Air Force headquarters as executive and operations officer, and assumed command in April 1943. With the transfer of the Ninth to England it was reorganized and renamed, and the general was placed in command of the Ninth Air Force Advanced Depot Area Command. In March 1945 General Steele became deputy commander of the First Provisional Air Force Service Command at Vittel, France, and moved with it to Schweitzengen, Germany, and then was sent to Nancy, France.
Following V-J Day, General Steele was appointed deputy commander for engineering of the Middletown Air Materiel Area, Pa. Entering the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in August 1946, he graduated in July 1947.
Joining the Air Training Command, General Steele was assigned to the Technical Division at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., and in October 1949 assumed command of the 3721st Military Training Group, ATC, at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas. In July 1950 General Steele was appointed deputy commander and chief of staff of the 3700th Air Force Indoctrination Wing and of Lackland Air Force Base, and a year later assumed command of the 3700 Wing (redesignated 3700th Military Training Wing) in March 1953.
Still with the Air Training Command in April 1954, General Steele assumed command of the 3650th Military Training Wing at Sampson Air Force Base, N.Y.
Going overseas on Aug. 1, 1956, General Steele became chief, Military Assistance Advisory Group, United Kingdom, with station at London, England.
His decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, and the French Croix de Guerre with Palm. He is rated a command pilot.