GENERAL ROBERT W. STRONG JR.
Retired May 1, 1970
Died March 16, 2006
General Robert William Strong Jr., is chief of staff
of the Eighth Air Force, Westover Air Force Base,
Mass. In this position, he bears a large share of
the responsibility for the efficient management of
the Strategic Air Command's largest numbered Air Force.
Strong was born in Painesville, Ohio, in 1917. As
a graduate of the Valley Forge Military Academy, Wayne,
Pa., the general entered the U.S. Military Academy
at West Point in July 1936 on a presidential appointment.
He graduated from West Point and was commissioned
a second lieutenant in June 1940.
general began flight training in October 1940 and
received his pilot wings at Kelly Field, Texas, in
September 1941. After advanced training in bomber
aircraft he was assigned in December 1941 as operations
officer for the 41st Bomb Group, Hammer Field, Calif.,
and later as operations officer for the 47th Bomb
Squadron at Visalia, Calif.
August 1942 he was transferred to Topeka, Kan., as
operations officer for the 333rd Bomb Group, and later
moved to Salina, Kan., as operations officer for the
346th Bomb Group. His next assignment came in January
1943 when he took command of Salina's 504th Bomb Squadron.
back to Topeka in March 1943 the general became assistant
operations officer for the 2nd Heavy Bombardment Processing
Headquarters where he served until February 1944.
At that time he was reassigned as air inspector for
the 3rd Heavy Bombardment Processing Headquarters,
also at Topeka, and later held the same position in
Topeka's 272nd Base Unit.
1944 found General Strong back at Salina in command
of the 62nd Bomb Squadron, which he led to the Southwest
Pacific Theater of Operations. He later moved up to
command of the 39th Bomb Group based on the island
of Guam. During this time the general logged 200 combat
hours flying the B-29 Superfortress in raids over
to the States in October 1945 the general served as
a tactical officer at the U.S. Military Academy, West
Point until July 1948. He then became assistant air
attaché to Canada until August 1952 when he entered
the Naval War College at Newport, R.I.
graduation from the War College in June 1953 the general
was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force in Washington,
D.C., where he served with the Deputy Directorate
of Targets until August 1956.
general began his service with SAC in August 1956
as director of operations for the 4th Air Division,
Barksdale Air Force Base, La. He served in this capacity
until May 1957, when he was named commander of the
376th Bomb Wing at Barksdale. In October 1957 he moved
to McCoy Air Force Base, Fla., as commander of the
321st Bomb Wing where he remained until July 1959
when he took command of the 4082d Strategic Wing at
Goose Air Base, Labrador.
to the United States in November 1961, General Strong
became commander of the 825th Strategic Aerospace
Division, Little Rock, Ark. He remained at Little
Rock until March 1963 when he was assigned as commandant
of cadets, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo.
Strong returned to SAC in July 1965 as commander of
the 817th Air Division, Pease Air Force Base, N.H.,
where he served until his present assignment as chief
of staff, Eighth Air Force, in July 1966.
decorations include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished
Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal, Air Force
Commendation Medal and the Army Commendation Medal.
as of Dec. 1, 1966)