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Gen. G. W. Mundy

In 1957, Mundy, now a newly promoted Lieutenant General, became Commandant of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces (ICAF). This is a co-equal educational institution with the National War College, and ranks in the top level of military schools. It educates military leaders in various aspects of national economics and the military industrial complex as they pertain to the Country's security. 

In 1961, Mundy was named Commander - in - Chief of the military forces in Alaska. Although the scope of his authority extended to the entire Alaskan Norad Region, his specific responsibility was air defense. He did not have a nuclear delivery capability but was equipped with defensive weapons. 

Mundy held this high level assignment under President Kennedy during a very crucial time in our history. Relations with the Soviet Union were extremely strained and the threat of nuclear war hovered over the world. The "Cuban Missile Crisis" during October of 1962, brought the United States to the very brink of war. Had an attack occurred, whether by plane or missile, it would likely have been launched upon this country from the north. This placed General Mundy's forces in a very strategic as well as precarious position. 

A well-deserved retirement came to the General in 1963 after 39 years in uniform - four as a West Point Cadet, and 35 as an officer. 

Mundy managed to stay active as a Command Pilot for many of these years. In addition to training planes flown, he had also mastered the B-12, B-17, B-18, B-25, B-26, B-29 and the B-50. 

Jet bombers flown include the B-47, B-52, and the British Canberra, B-57, an American manufactured aircraft built by Martin. Some of the fighter aircraft that Mundy had experience in were the P-l, PW-9, P-12, P-35, P-40, P-43, P-47, P-8l, also the F-86, F-100, F-102, and the F-106 the latter four all jets, Shortly before retiring in 1963, Mundy flew the F-106 at Mach 2.07. 

Prior to World War II, Mundy had been sent to England to fly several of their aircraft. Among these were the Hurricane and Spitfire fighters, and the Lancaster bomber.

There were others long lost in the General's memory.

His lengthy and notable career included an around-the-world B-17 flight while assigned to Logistics. On a trip that involved visits to Japan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, and England, he decided that the best way home was to "keep on going in the same direction." 

Among the scores of world figures he has met and found the most fascinating are such notables as Winston Churchill, Indian Prime Minister Nehru, and Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy. 

He recalls how President Kennedy and the Secretary of Defense seemed to revel in joint telephone conferences with the Unified and Specified Commanders. Inasmuch as General Mundy was Unified Commander in Alaska, these calls always came at the most untimely hour. Such a call in the middle of the night, and usually not one of urgency, could be extremely frustrating. 

The General retired in 1963 while still Commander of the Alaskan Forces. He had served his country long - he had served his country well.

Ironically, his "boss," President Kennedy would also leave government in November of that same year the victim of an assassin's gunfire while on a Dallas campaign visit.

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Source: "History of the 39th Bomb Group" by Robert Laird (Crew 5) and David Smith (crew 31)