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General Gerald E. McIlmoyle

General McIlmoyle was born in 1930, in North Platte, Neb. He graduated from McCook High School, McCook, Neb., in 1948; McCook Junior College in 1950; and the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1966 with a bachelor of science degree in military science. He graduated from the Armed Forces Staff College at Norfolk, Va., in July 1967.

General McIlmoyle enlisted in the Air Force in May 1951 and in November that year he entered aviation cadet training at Bainbridge Air Base, Ga. Upon completion of the aviation cadet program at Bryan Air Force Base, Texas, Dec. 19, 1952, he was commissioned a second lieutenant and awarded his pilot wings. He then had advanced fighter training in the F-86 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. In April 1953 General McIlmoyle reported for duty with the 8th Fighter-Bomber Wing at Suwon, South Korea. In April 1954 he was assigned as a pilot with the 407th Strategic Fighter Wing at Great Falls Air Force Base, Mont.

In July 1957 General McIlmoyle was granted a regular commission by competitive examination. He reported to the 4080th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, as a U-2 pilot in August 1957. From April through July 1958, he attended Squadron Officer School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. Given a "spot" promotion to major in 1961, he flew as a U-2 pilot over much of the world, including the North and South Poles, from bases in Alaska, Argentina, Australia, Guam and South Vietnam. General McIlmoyle was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for flights over Cuba during the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. He escorted President Kennedy, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Air Force Chief of Staff on a tour of the U-2, explaining its inner workings.

In August 1964 General McIlmoyle voluntarily relinquished his spot promotion to major and was assigned as a plans officer in the Space Section, Future Plans Branch of Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. He helped write the original operations concept for the SR-71. In July 1967 he transferred to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., as a plans officer in the Space Branch of the Directorate of Plans. He was the primary plans action officer for space and reconnaissance matters and the strategic forces action officer on the Joint Strategic Operations Plan in 1969 and 1970. He was awarded the Legion of Merit for his accomplishments on the Air Staff.

From June 1970 to March 1971, he was director of the Joint Personnel Recovery Center, Military Assistance Command Vietnam, in Saigon, Republic of Vietnam. General McIlmoyle supervised recovery operations throughout Southeast Asia.

Assigned to Headquarters SAC in April 1971, he was chief of the Intelligence Developments Division, where future SAC needs in cameras, films, processing, electronic and other intelligence collectors were conceptualized and documented. In October 1972 General McIlmoyle became director of reconnaissance in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Intelligence. He was in charge of specifying SAC's worldwide intelligence requirements and the processing and dissemination of the intelligence data collected. He performed in this capacity during Linebacker II operations over North Vietnam and was subsequently awarded his first oak leaf cluster to the Legion of Merit for his accomplishments.

General Mcllmoyle attended Minuteman III combat crew training at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., from April to June 1973. He was then assigned as special assistant to the deputy commander for maintenance at Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D., and in October 1973 he became commander of the 448th Strategic Missile Squadron.

In July 1974 he transferred to Francis E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., as director of operations for the 90th Strategic Missile Wing until April 1975; as base commander until May 1976; and as vice commander of the 90th Strategic Missile Wing until July 1976.

General McIlmoyle was commander of the 341st Strategic Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., from July 1976 to April 1978. In April 1978 he was assigned as assistant deputy chief of staff, Plans for Plans and Policy, Headquarters SAC. He assumed his present position in June 1979.

He is a command pilot and has 4,376 hours of flying time, including 47 hours of combat time. His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award ribbon with two oak leaf clusters, Army Good Conduct Medal and Small Arms Expert Marksmanship ribbon with star.

He was promoted to brigadier general July 1, 1978, with date of rank June 12, 1978.

General McIlmoyle retired July 1, 1981.

General McIlmoyle's hometown is McCook, Neb.

Biography courtesy of the USAF -