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General Thomas E. Lacy

Brigadier General Thomas E. Lacy was commander, Field Command, Defense Nuclear Agency, Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. He was responsible to the director, Defense Nuclear Agency, for the consolidated management of Department of Defense nuclear weapons testing and research, stockpile control, technical publications administration, technical analysis, weapons safety and security, and nuclear ordnance item supply systems. Field Command conducts technical standardization inspections of service nuclear capable units and is the point of contact for liaison with the Energy Research and Development Administration and its laboratories and contractors relative to Department of Defense requirements.

General Lacy was born in Long Beach, Miss., in 1927, and graduated from Long Beach High School in 1945. He attended Perkingston Junior College, Miss., 1945-1946, and Maryville College, Tenn., 1947-1950, and graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in English. He received a master's degree in political science from Auburn University in 1971, and is a graduate of the Squadron Officer School, 1955, the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, College, 1965, and the Air War College, 1971.

He entered the U.S. Air Force in 1950, attended Officer Candidate School, and upon graduation in June 1951 was commissioned as a second lieutenant. He entered basic flying training at Hondo Air Force Base, Texas, in October 1951, and advanced flying training at Williams Air Force Base, Ariz., where he received his pilot wings in October 1952. After combat crew training at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., General Lacy left for Korea in February 1953, where he served as a fighter pilot and flight commander with the 67th Fighter Bomber Squadron and flew 67 combat missions.

He went to George Air Force Base, Calif., in December 1953 and served as a jet fighter pilot with the 531st Fighter Bomber Squadron, 435th Fighter Bomber Squadron, and the 476th Tactical Fighter Squadron. In June 1958 he attended the Tactical Reconnaissance Course at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., and joined the 38th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, 66th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, at Phalsbourg Air Base, France, in January 1959. He served with the 66th Wing at Phalsbourg, Toul-Rosieres and Laon Air Bases, France, and Ramstein Air Base, Germany, until July 1962.

General Lacy returned to George Air Force Base in August 1962 and assisted in the activation of the F-105D equipped 355th Tactical Fighter Wing and served as a flight commander with the 354th Tactical Fighter Squadron until July 1964. Upon completion of the Marine Corps Command and Staff College at Quantico, Va., in June 1965, he rejoined the 35th Tactical Fighter Wing.

In August 1965 General Lacy went to Southeast Asia on Project "Top Dog" and served as operations staff of Headquarters Seventh Air Force at Tan Son Nhut Airfield, Republic of Vietnam. In July 1966 he was assigned to headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, and served in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, first as operations staff officer, then as PACAF "Muscle Shoals" project officer, and later as studies and analysis officer in the General Planning Division, Directorate of Plans. From July 1969 to July 1970, he served as commander of the 531st Tactical Fighter Squadron and assistant deputy commander for operations, 3d Tactical Fighter Wing, Bien Hoa Air Base Republic of Vietnam.

After attending the Air and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., General Lacy went to Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, in July 1971 and assisted in the activation of the F-111F-equipped 347th Tactical Fighter Wing. While at Mountain Home, he was deputy commander for operations and vice commander of the 347th Tactical Fighter Wing, later redesignated 366th Tactical Fighter Wing. In January 1973, he became vice commander of the F-111A-equipped 474th Tactical Fighter Wing and remained commander of the wing when the deployed element of the 474th was redesignated as the 347th Tactical Fighter Wing in July 1973. In March 1974, he departed Takhli for Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., where he assumed duties as deputy commander, Field Command, Defense Nuclear Agency, and in September 1975 became the commander.

His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star Medal with oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with 13 oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Presidential Unit Citation Emblem with two oak leaf clusters, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Ribbon with three oak leaf clusters, Combat Readiness Medal, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon, and from the Republic of Vietnam, the Gallantry Cross with palm Unit Citation Emblem. He is a command pilot with more than 4,000 hours flying time. He flew 67 combat missions in F-86s in Korea, eight combat missions in the F-105, 227 combat missions in the F-100 and A-37 in Vietnam, and 48 combat missions in the F-17 in Cambodia.

Long Beach, Miss., is General Lacy's hometown. He was promoted to the grade of brigadier general effective July 1, 1975, with date of rank June 30, 1975.

General Lacy retired October 1977.

Biography courtesy of the USAF -