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First Name: Benjamin

Last Name: Chidlaw

Birthplace: Cleves, OH, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Air Force (1947 - present)

Middle Name: Wiley

Date of Birth: 18 December 1900

Date of Death: 21 February 1977

Rank: General

Years Served: 1922-1955
Benjamin Wiley Chidlaw

Graduate, U.S. Military Academy, Class of 1922

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Benjamin Wiley Chidlaw
General, U.S. Air Force

Benjamin Wiley Chidlaw was born on 18 December 1900 in Cleves, OH. Chidlaw graduated from Woodward High School at Cleves and from the U.S. Military Academy. Upon graduation from the Academy in June 1922, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Air Service.

He took flying training at Brooks and Kelly Fields, TX, and got his wings in January 1924. He remained at Kelly for five months as a flying instructor. He went to Clark Field in the Philippines for duty with the 3rd Pursuit Squadron. In October 1926 he returned to Brooks as Flying Instructor, Assistant Staging Commander, and Final Check Pilot.

Promoted to First Lieutenant in April 1927, he remained at Brooks until July 1930 when he entered the Air Corps Engineering School at Wright Field, OH, graduating a year later. Then began the first of several long assignments at Wright Field which established Chidlaw as an expert on materiel, especially aircraft. He stayed five years this time, chiefly as Project Officer of the Materiel Division's Training and Transport Aircraft Branch.

Early in 1934 he devoted three months to helping the Air Corps inaugurate its flying of the airmail. In succession he took the Air Corps Tactical School course at Maxwell Field, AL, and the Command and General Staff School instruction at Fort Leavenworth, KS. He was promoted to Captain in August 1935 and assigned to the 2nd Bomb Group at Langley Field, VA, where he became Operations Officer in May 1938. The following January he was named Technical Assistant to the Assistant Chief of Staff for Materiel at the Air Force Headquarters at Langley. He went back to Wright Field for a short time and, in March 1939, was assigned to the Supply Division in the Office of the Chief of Air Corps. Three months later he became Chief of the Engineer Section and, in October, Chief of the Experimental Engineering Branch, where he monitored the jet engine development.

While assigned to this duty in Washington, Chidlaw was promoted to Major in March 1940; to Lieutenant Colonel in September 1941; to Colonel in March 1942; and to Brigadier General in November 1942. In March 1943, he was assigned to the Office of the Assistant Chief of Air Staff for Materiel in Washington. In that capacity he represented the Army Air Force on several joint Royal Air Force-Army Air Force technical missions in London. He went to the Mediterranean Theater in April 1944 as Deputy Commanding General of the 12th Tactical Air Command. Following the invasion of southern France, he organized and Commanded the 22nd Tactical Air Command in that Theater. In March 1945 he took command of the Mediterranean Allied Tactical Air Forces and was promoted to Major General the following month.

Chidlaw returned to Wright Field in July 1945 as Deputy Commanding General for Operations of what became Air Materiel Command. In October 1947, he became Deputy Commanding General of the command with the rank of Lieutenant General; he became Commanding General on 1 September 1949.

On 29 July 1951, he received his fourth star and Command of Air Defense Command at Ent Air Force Base, CO. He also became Commander-in-Chief of the joint service Continental Air Defense Command there on 1 September 1954, and he remained in that capacity until he retired on 31 May 1955.

Medals and Awards

General Cannon had many medals and awards from the U.S., as well as France, Great Britain, Poland and Brazil.

Death and Burial

General Benjamin Wiley Chidlaw died on 21 February 1977. He is buried at the United States Air Force Academy Cemetery in Colorado Springs, El Paso County, CO.

Honoree ID: 693   Created by: MHOH




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