Rank Insignia Previous Honoree ID Next Honoree ID

honoree image
First Name: Paul

Last Name: Carlton

Birthplace: Manchester, NH, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Air Force (1947 - present)

Middle Name: Kendall

Date of Birth: 14 April 1921

Date of Death: 23 November 2009

Rank: General

Years Served: 1942 - 1977
Paul Kendall Carlton

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)
•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)
•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Paul Kendall Carlton
General, U.S. Air Force

Paul Kendall Carlton was born in Manchester, NH, on 14 April 1921. He graduated from Academy High School, Erie, PA, in 1939. He then attended the University of Pittsburgh and Ohio University.

Military Career

In September 1941, he entered the U.S. Army Air Forces aviation cadet program. He received his pilot wings and commission as a Second Lieutenant in April 1942 at Albany Army Airfield, GA.

Carlton was a B-17 Flying Fortress instructor pilot with Air Training Command until 1944. He then flew B-29 aircraft with the first group operating against the Japanese mainland from India and China, accumulating a total of 350 combat hours.

Following World War II, from January 1946 to September 1949, he was assigned to Strategic Air Command's first atomic bomb organization, the 509th Bombardment Wing, Roswell Air Force Base, NM. This was followed by a four-year assignment as Aide-de-Camp to the SAC Commander-in-Chief General Curtis E. LeMay.

From October 1953 to January 1956, Carlton was assigned to March Air Force Base, CA, as Director of Operations, 320th Bombardment Wing, and later as Director of Plans, 15th Air Force. He went to Guam in January 1956 and became Director of Operations for SAC's 3rd Air Division at Andersen Air Force Base. He returned to the U.S. in November 1957 and served the next one and a half years as Deputy Commander of the 93rd Bombardment Wing and the Combat Crew Training School for B-52 and KC-135 aircrews at Castle Air Force Base, CA. He assumed Command of the 4126th Strategic Wing, Beale Air Force Base, CA, in May 1959.

Carlton was selected to attend the National War College in Washington, DC, from August 1961 to June 1962, during which time he also attended George Washington University. In June 1962, Carlton assumed Command of the 379th Bombardment Wing at Wurtsmith Air Force Base, MI, and in November 1963, was assigned as Commander of the 305th Bombardment Wing, Bunker Hill Air Force Base, IN.

In July 1965, Carlton was assigned to SAC headquarters at Offutt Air Force Base, NE, with dual responsibilities as Chief, Single Integrated Operational Plans Division, Joint Strategic Target Planning Staff, and Chief, Operations Plans Division, Directorate of Operations. He assumed duties as Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations in June 1967.

Carlton assumed Command of the 1st Strategic Aerospace Division, Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA, in August 1968. He returned to Headquarters SAC in March 1969 to serve as Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations. He next served as Commander of the 15th Air Force, with headquarters at March Air Force Base, CA, from August 1969 until September 1972. On 9 October 1972, Carlton was promoted to the four-star rank of General and assigned to Command of the Military Airlift Command. On 1 February 1977, when MAC was designated as a specified command, Carlton became CINCMAC.

General Carlton retired from the Air Force on 31 March 1977.

While General Carlton was its Commander-in-Chief, achievements by the Military Airlift Command earned the following awards:

• 1972 Benjamin D. Foulois Flying Safety Trophy;

• 1973 Harmon International Trophy for the 1972 nonstop HC-130 flight from Ching Chuan Kang Air Base, Taiwan, to Scott Air Force Base, IL;

• 1974 Mackay Trophy, for the prisoner of war release, Operation Homecoming;

• 1974 David C. Schilling Award and the 1974 Harmon International Trophy, both for the American airlift to Israel, in which MAC C-141s and C-5 Galaxies moved 22,395 tons 6,500 miles by air to Israel in 33 days;

• A special Humanitarian Award from Milwaukee's Trans-Aire '75 Exposition for MAC's many humanitarian achievements, including the airlift of Vietnamese and Cambodian orphans to their new homes in the U.S. and the massive airlift evacuation of Vietnamese refugees.

• Carlton also received the 1975 Reserve Officers Association's Minuteman Hall of Fame Award.

Rated as a Command Pilot, Carlton had more than 12,000 flying hours and flew the B-47, B-52, including the "H" model, supersonic B-58 Hustler, KC-135, C-141, C-5 and the Mach 3-plus SR-71 strategic reconnaissance aircraft.

He was a member of the Air Force Association (Citation of Honor, 1973), Order of Daedalians, American Defense Preparedness Association, and the National Defense Transportation Association.

Medals, Awards and Badges

Air Force Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star Medal
Legion of Merit with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Distinguished Flying Cross
Purple Heart
Air Medal with Silver Oak Leaf Cluster
Army Commendation Medal
Presidential Unit Citation with 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
American Campaign Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Air Force Longevity Service Award with Silver and 3 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Command Pilot Badge


His son, Paul Kendall Carlton, Jr. [Honoree Record ID 308223] also served in the U.S. Air Force. He was a medical doctor and attained the rank of Lieutenant General. His final assignment was as the 17th Surgeon General of the United States Air Force.

Death and Burial

General Paul Kendall Carlton died on 23 November 2009 in San Antonio, TX. He is buried at the United States Air Force Academy Cemetery in Colorado Springs. El Paso County, CO.

Honoree ID: 539   Created by: MHOH




Honoree Photos

honoree imagehonoree imagehonoree image

honoree imagehonoree image

honoree image