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First Name: Richard

Last Name: Lindsay

Birthplace: Minneapolis, MN, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Air Force (1947 - present)

Middle Name: Clark

Date of Birth: 31 October 1905

Date of Death: 03 November 1990

Rank: Lieutenant General

Years Served:
Richard Clark Lindsay

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Richard Clark Lindsay

Lieutenant General, U.S. Air Force


Richard Clark Lindsay was born on 31 October 1905 in Minneapolis, MN. He graduated from West High School in Minneapolis in 1924 and then attended Carlton College and the University of Minnesota.

On 11 June 1928, Lindsay was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Infantry Reserve; 17 days later he enlisted as a flying cadet in the Army Air Corps. As a cadet, he first attended the Primary and Basic Flying School at March Field, CA, and then the Advanced Flying School at Kelly Field, TX. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Air Reserve upon graduating from Kelly in June 1929; on 14 September, he received a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Regular Army Air Corps.

Lindsay was first assigned to the 91st Observation Squadron at Crissy Field, CA. He served on temporary duty during the first Provisional Wing Maneuvers at Mather Field, CA, in April- May 1930, performing various duties in the Support Squadron. In October 1930, he entered the Air Corps Tactical School, Maintenance Engineering Course, at Chanute Field, IL. He graduated in June 1931 and was reassigned to the 91st Observation Squadron at Crissy Field where he served first as Assistant - and later as Squadron - Engineering Officer.

He entered a course in Advanced Aerial Navigation at Rockwell Field in Coronado, CA, in January 1934. The course was interrupted when the U.S. Army Corps was designated to handle the airmail. Lindsay flew the mail on Route 5, between Portland, OR; Pasco, WA; and Boise, ID, in the Western Zone of the U.S.

In July 1934, after completing numerous flights and acting as Station Control Officer at Pasco, WA, he again returned to the 91st Observation Squadron at Crissy Field. Lindsay returned to Rockwell Field in October and completed the Advanced Navigation Course in November.

He was transferred to Hamilton Field, CA, in May 1935 and served as Navigation Officer with the 9th Bomber Squadron and the 88th Observation Squadron (Long-Range). In January 1937, Lindsay was transferred to Hawaii. There he served in the 7th Service Squadron at Schofield Barracks; the 50th Observation Squadron at Luke Field; and the 18th Wing at Hickam Field. While at Luke Field, he served in navigation and operations staff assignments; he also conducted a navigation school for selected officers in the Hawaiian Department. In late 1938 - early 1939, he served as Operations Officer and then as Assistant Operations Officer of the 18th Wing at Hickam Field.

Lindsay returned to the U.S. in April 1939 for assignment to the 97th Observation Squadron at Mitchel Field, NY. While at Mitchel, during January-March 1940, he attended the Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwell Field. He then rejoined the 97th while it was on maneuvers with the Fourth Provisional Observation Group at Natchitoches, LA. He was promoted to Captain while serving with the 97th.

Next, he was assigned to the 22nd Observation Squadron at Brooks Field, TX, where he conducted a course training combat observers. In March 1941, the combat observer training was turned over to the Advanced Flying School at Brooks Field. Now a Major, Lindsay became Chief of Section III and later Director of the Ground School and Assistant Director of Training.

Major Lindsay joined the War Department General Staff in November 1941. He was first assigned to the Air Plans Division, serving as member of, and later as the Chief of, the African-Middle East Section; while there he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. Upon reorganization of the War Department in March 1942, he served as a member, and later as Chief of the Policy Division of the Strategy and Policy Group in the Operations Division. In the summer of 1942, he was made a temporary Colonel in the Army Air Forces.

Lindsay was assigned to the Joint War Plans Committee in June 1943 and participated in the preparation of strategic studies that would be utilized by the Joint and Combined Chief of Staff in determining which operations the Allies would undertake in the pursuit of the war. In August 1944, he became Chief of the Combined Joint Staff Division of the Headquarters Army Air Forces and was promoted to Brigadier General. At the time, he served as the Army Air Forces Representative on the Joint Staff Planners of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

After his return from Europe in May 1945, General Lindsay was assigned to the Twentieth Air Force where he directed B-29 operations against Japan. In July, he was transferred from Pentagon duty to the Headquarters U.S. Army Strategic Air Forces on Guam as Assistant Chief of Staff - Plans, where he worked for Generals Spaatz and Lemay during the final days of the war against Japan.

In December 1945, General Lindsay moved to Manila as Assistant Chief of Staff - Plans, for the Pacific Air Command. He was assigned as Commander of the 316th Bomb Wing, 8th Air Force (later the First Air Division), Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, in January 1946.

Lindsay was transferred to Tokyo in March 1947 as Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence for the Far East Air Forces. In August 1947, he returned to Washington as Chief, Policy Division, in the Office of the Assistant Chief of Air Staff for Plans and Operations, Army Air Forces Headquarters, just before it became the Headquarters of the U.S. Air Force. In this capacity, he served again with the Joint Chiefs of Staff as the Air Force member of the Joint Staff Planners (later the Joint Strategic Plans Committee). That November he was promoted to Major General.

Major General Lindsay was appointed Deputy Director of Plans and Operations for the U.S. Air Force in April 1948 and, in October, was assigned to the Joint Staff as Deputy Director for Strategic Plans in the Office of the Joint Chief of Staff. He continued as a member of the Joint Strategic Plans Committee but, as a result of his responsibility as Chief of the Joint Strategic Plans Group of the Joint Staff, he became Chairman of the committee.

He was assigned as the Standing Group Liaison Officer to the Council Deputies of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in July 1951. The Standing Group was situated in Washington, while the Council Deputies were in London.

With the post-Korea buildup of the Air Force in June 1952, Lindsay became Commander of the 3560th Air Force Indoctrination Wing at Sampson AFB, NY (re-designated as the 3650th Military Training Wing, Air Training Command in March 1953). In that command he supervised the basic training of many thousands of Air Force recruits.

Lindsay returned to Air Force Headquarters in April 1954 as Director of Plans in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations and, after almost three years in this assignment, he was named the Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations, on 11 February 1957. 

In May 1957, Lindsay was promoted to Lieutenant General and, on 1 August, he was appointed Commander of Allied Air Forces Southern Europe (NATO) with headquarters in Naples, Italy. This was General Lindsay's last assignment before his retirement from the Air Force on 30 April 1960.

Medals and Awards

Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit (2 Awards)
Bronze Star Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal (2 Awards)
Order of the British Empire - Grade of Honorary Commander
American Defense Service Medal
American Campaign Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
European-African Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal
Japanese Occupation Medal
National Defense Service Medal


Command Pilot Badge

In Retirement

After retiring, in 1963 Lindsay became a consultant for the Rand Corp. and helped to write a report on the needs of the U.S. Air Force for the next 25 years. He later worked as a consultant to several defense contractors until 1969.

Lindsay was a member of the Academy of Political Science, the Academy of Political Arts and Sciences and the Council on Foreign Relations. He made significant contributions to the discussions leading to the publication of Henry Kissinger's book "Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy" and the Rockefeller Foundation Report on "United States National Security Policy."

Death and Burial

General Richard Clark Lindsay died on 3 November 1990 of heart failure in a Glendale, CA, hospital at the age of 85. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.

His former wife, Margaret Ball Lindsay (from whom he was divorced), preceded him in death by about three months. Lindsay insisted that her ashes be buried with him and it was approved. On the headstone it refers to Margaret as "Devoted Wife - Mother - Friend."

Lindsay was survived by a son, Richard; a daughter, Raylyn Terrell; nine grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

Honoree ID: 3288   Created by: MHOH




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