Rank Insignia Previous Honoree ID Next Honoree ID

honoree image
First Name: Duane

Last Name: Cassidy

Birthplace: Coraopolis, PA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Air Force (1947 - present)

Middle Name: Harlan

Date of Birth: 24 November 1933

Rank: General

Years Served: 1954-1987
Duane Harlan Cassidy

•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)
•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Duane Harlan Cassidy

General, U.S. Air Force

Duane Harlan Cassidy was born in Coraopolis, PA, on 24 November 1933.

Upon completion of aviation cadet training, Cassidy was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force in 1954. He then attended navigator training at Harlingen and James Connally Air Force Bases, TX.

His initial operational assignments in the Air Force were to the Military Air Transport Service (MATS): first to the Air Weather Service's 6th Weather Group, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH, flying B-25 Mitchells, and then to Air Rescue Service's 49th Air Rescue Squadron, Selfridge AFB, MI. During these assignments, he participated in numerous rescue and weather reconnaissance missions, including the hydrogen weapons test in 1956 at Eniwetok Atoll in the Marshall Islands. His navigator assignments ended after two years as a MATS C-121 Constellation line crew member at Charleston AFB, SC. He entered pilot training in December 1958.

Cassidy was assigned to Strategic Air Command after graduation from pilot training and flew B-47 Stratojets at McCoy AFB, FL, Little Rock AFB, AR, and Lincoln AFB, NE. In November 1965, he transferred to Minot AFB, ND, and served with the 810th Strategic Aerospace Division, whose mission included B-52 Stratofortress bomber and LGM-30 Minuteman missile operations. In September 1968, he was assigned to the Republic of Vietnam, serving first with 7th Air Force's Tactical Air Control Center and then with the Military Assistance Command's Vietnam (MACV) Directorate of Public Affairs as an Air Briefer to the Saigon press corps.

He returned to the Air Force airlift mission in October 1969. He was assigned to Military Airlift Command Headquarters as Executive to the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, and later as Executive Aide and pilot for the Commander, Military Airlift Command. In August 1972, he assumed Command of the 8th Airlift Squadron, McChord AFB, WA. He entered the Air War College in August 1974 and, upon graduation, again served at Military Airlift Command Headquarters, as Assistant Chief of Staff.

In August 1976, Cassidy was assigned as Vice Commander of the 63rd Airlift Wing at Norton AFB, CA. In February 1978, he became Commander of the Wing. He returned to Military Airlift Command Headquarters in July 1980 and served initially as Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations. In August 1981, he became the MAC's Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations.

From October 1983 to August 1984, he served as Commander of MAC's 21st Air Force at McGuire AFB, NJ. During this period, MAC was heavily involved in support of U.S.' operations in Lebanon and Grenada. Cassidy then transferred to Headquarters U.S. Air Force in Washington, DC, where he served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower and Personnel.

Cassidy assumed Command of Military Airlift Command in September 1985 and, on 8 November, was promoted to the rank of four-star General.

Upon its activation on 1 October 1987, General Cassidy became Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Transportation Command (USCINCTRANS) and Commander-in-Chief, Military Airlift Command (CINCMAC).

General Cassidy retired from the Air Force in 1989. During his service he became a Command Pilot and Senior Navigator with over 8,000 flying hours. He also earned the Parachutist Badge.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Nebraska in 1968 and a Master of Science degree from Troy State University in 1975. He completed Squadron Officer School in 1961; the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1973; the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University in 1979; and the Program for Senior Executives in National and International Security at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, in 1983.

Medals and Awards

Distinguished Service Medal

Legion of Merit

Bronze Star Medal

Defense Meritorious Service Medal

Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters

Air Medal


Command Pilot Badge
Senior Navigator Badge

Parachutist Badge

Honoree ID: 545   Created by: MHOH




Honoree Photos

honoree imagehonoree imagehonoree image

honoree imagehonoree image

honoree image