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First Name: Wilbur

Last Name: Creech

Birthplace: Argyle, MO, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Air Force (1947 - present)

Home of Record: Argyle, MO
Middle Name: Lyman

Date of Birth: 30 March 1927

Date of Death: 26 August 2003

Rank: General

Years Served: 1949-1984
Wilbur Lyman Creech

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


Wilbur Lyman Creech

General, U.S. Air Force

Wilbur Lyman Creech was born on 30 March 1927 in Argyle, MO. His first experience with the military was when he enlisted as a Private in July 1944 after graduating from Emmetsburg (Iowa) High School. In September 1949, he received his wings and commission as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, as a distinguished graduate of flying training school.

His first operational assignment was with the 51st Fighter Wing at Naha, Okinawa. During the Korean War, he flew with the 51st Wing from Kimpo Air Base and completed 103 combat missions over North Korea. He also served a combat tour of duty as a Forward Air Controller (FAC) with the U.S. Army's 27th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division.

In July 1951, Creech was assigned as a Flight Commander at Luke AFB near Phoenix, AZ, where, for the next two and one-half years, he taught advanced gunnery to students from 14 nations. In November 1953, he joined the U.S. Air Force Aerial Demonstration Team, the Thunderbirds, and flew 125 official aerial demonstrations over the U.S. and Central America.

In January 1956, he became Commander and Leader of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe Aerial Demonstration Team, the Skyblazers, based at Bitburg, Germany. By December 1959 he had flown 399 official aerial demonstrations with this team throughout Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

In June 1960, Creech was named Director of Operations, U.S. Air Force Fighter Weapons School at Nellis AFB, Las Vegas, NV, where he served until February 1962. He then was assigned as a Special Advisor to the Commander of the Argentine Air Force in Buenos Aires.

From August 1962 to August 1965, he was Executive and Aide-de-Camp to the Commander of Tactical Air Command at Langley AFB. In August 1965, he entered the National War College at Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington, DC. Upon graduation in June 1966, he was selected to be a Staff Assistant in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Creech transferred to the Republic of Vietnam in November 1968 as Deputy Commander for Operations of the 37th Tactical Fighter Wing, Phu Cat Air Base. After six months with the Wing, during which he flew 177 combat missions, he became Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters Seventh Air Force in Saigon.

In November 1969, Creech was assigned to U.S. Air Forces in Europe and successively commanded two tactical fighter wings. After one year as Commander of the 86th Tactical Fighter Wing at Zweibr├╝cken, Germany, he became Commander of the 401st Tactical Fighter Wing at Madrid, Spain. From August 1971 until August 1974, Creech served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Intelligence, Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe at Wiesbaden and Ramstein, Germany.

Creech was assigned to Air Force Systems Command in September 1974 as Vice Commander of Aeronautical Systems Division at Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, OH, and in October 1974 was appointed Commander of the Electronic Systems Division, Boston, MA. The Electronic Systems Division manages the complex development and acquisition of command, control and communications equipment to meet the worldwide needs of the Air Force and other Department of Defense agencies.

After two and one-half years as Commander of Electronic Systems Division, Creech was transferred to Washington where he served concurrently as the Assistant Vice Chief of Staff, Assistant to the Chief of Staff for Readiness and North Atlantic Treaty Organization Matters and Senior U.S. Air Force member, Military Staff Committee, United Nations.

On 1 May 1978, Creech was promoted to the rank of four-star General and named Commander, Tactical Air Command (COMTAC).

General Creech retired from the Air Force on 31 December 1984. During his service he became a Command Pilot, experienced in 40 different military fighter, cargo and reconnaissance aircraft.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland, a Master's degree in International Relations from George Washington University, and graduated from the National War College in 1966.

Medals and Awards

Air Force Distinguished Service Medal (2 Awards)

Silver Star Medal

Legion of Merit (3 Awards)

Distinguished Flying Cross (4 Awards)

Air Medal (15 Awards)

Air Force Commendation Medal (3 Awards)

Army Commendation Medal

Republic of Vietnam Air Service Medal (Honor Class)

Spanish Grand Cross of Aeronautical Merit with White Ribbon

Republic of Korea Order of National Security Merit Tong II Medal


Command Pilot Badge

Death and Burial

General Wilbur Lyman Creech died on 26 August 2003. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.

Honoree ID: 699   Created by: MHOH




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