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General John P. Russell

Brigadier General John P. Russell was deputy director of operations, J-3, and assistant deputy director for deployment operations, Joint Deployment Agency, Headquarters U.S. Readiness Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.

General Russell was born in 1929, in Mill Creek, W.Va., and graduated from Tygarts Valley High School in 1947. He received a bachelor of arts degree in premedical sciences from West Virginia University at Morgantown in 1951 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant through the Air Force Reserve Officers' Training Corps program. He graduated from Squadron Officer School in 1958, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in July 1963 and the Air War College in June 1972. 

General Russell graduated from pilot training at Pinecastle (later McCoy) Air Force Base, Fla., in October 1952. He then trained as a combat crewmember in F-86 Sabres at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. In March 1953 General Russell was assigned to the 8th Fighter-Bomber Wing, 36th Bomber Squadron in the Republic of Korea, piloting F-86s. In December 1953 he was transferred to England Air Force Base, LA., for duty with the 614th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 401st Tactical Fighter Wing. He served as flight commander and operations officer and flew F-86, F-84F and F-100 aircraft during his eight-year tour of duty. While assigned to England Air Force Base, General Russell attended Squadron Officer School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., and the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. In July 1963 General Russell became an instructor with the Air Ground Operations School at Hurlburt Field, Fla. He joined the Air Force Tactical Air Warfare Center at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., as an operations staff officer in March 1964.

General Russell went to Thailand in August 1965 as chief of wing training operations for the 6234th Tactical Fighter Wing at Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base and flew the F-105 Thunderchief. In May 1966 he become chief of combat operations for the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing at Korat. From August 1966 to August 1969, General Russell served as an operations staff officer and chief of Tactical Air Requirements Branch in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii.

General Russell was stationed at Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, S.C., from September 1969 to July 1971. He was base chief of operations and training, a member of the Air Force tactical air forces TAC-85 Study Group (temporary duty, Langley Air Force Base, Va.) and commander of the 356th Tactical Fighter Squadron, flying A-7Ds. In June 1972 General Russell was a distinguished graduate of the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. He then returned to Eglin Air Force Base to be deputy commander for operations of the 33rd Tactical Fighter Wing. He moved to Homestead Air Force Base, Fla., in November 1972 as deputy commander for operations, 31st Tactical Fighter Wing.

General Russell began his second tour of duty at Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base in January 1974. He served as vice commander of the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing from January to June 1974 and then became commander. While commanding the wing he participated in Operations Eagle Pull and Frequent Wind and the recovery of the USS Mayaguez. General Russell was appointed assistant deputy chief of staff of operations, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces from July 1975 to September 1977. He served as the inspector general for Tactical Air Command from October 1977 to June 1979. In July 1979 he was assigned to his position at Headquarters U.S. Readiness Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.

He is a command pilot. His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with oak leaf cluster and Air Force Commendation Medal. He was promoted to the grade of brigadier general July 1, 1976, with date of rank June 21, 1976.

General Russell retired July 1, 1980.

Biography courtesy of the USAF -