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First Name: William

Last Name: Evans

Birthplace: Norwich, CT, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Air Force (1947 - present)

Middle Name: John

Date of Birth: 04 March 1924

Date of Death: 12 December 2000

Rank: General

Years Served:
William John Evans

Graduate, U.S. Military Academy, Class of 1946

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


William John Evans

General, U.S. Air Force

William John Evans was born on 4 March 1924 in Norwich, CT. He graduated from St. Mary Parochial School and from Norwich Free Academy, in 1942. He was offered a scholarship to Yale University and entered that summer. Later that year he received an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy, which he entered in July 1943. In June 1946 he graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Military Engineering and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Forces.

He next entered fighter transition training at Williams Field and gunnery school at Ajo, AZ. His first tactical assignment was with the 20th Fighter Group at Shaw Field, SC, in November 1946.

In June 1948 he was transferred to the 475th Tactical Fighter Group at Itazuke Air Base, Japan. At the start of the Korean War in June 1950, he flew P-51 Mustang aircraft with the 35th Fighter-Interceptor Group from Tsuiki Air Field, and Taegu Air Base. Later that year he was transferred to Headquarters Fifth Air Force at Taegu, where he continued to fly intelligence missions for the headquarters. Before returning to the U.S. in 1951 he had completed approximately 130 combat missions in the P-51, P-80 Shooting Star, T-6 Texan and L-5 Sentinel aircraft.

From September 1951 to March 1952, he was assigned to the Air Research and Development Command, Baltimore, MD. In April 1952 he was transferred to the 479th Tactical Fighter Wing at George Air Force Base, CA, where he Commanded the 434th Fighter-Bomber Squadron, equipped with F-51 Mustang and later, F-86 Sabre aircraft.

In April 1954, he returned to the Far East as Executive Officer to the Commander, Far East Air Forces. In July 1955, he was assigned to Headquarters Air Defense Command, and in July 1956 he returned to George AFB to command the 436th Fighter-Day Squadron, equipped with F-100 Super Sabre aircraft. In 1958, he became Director of Operations for the 479th Tactical Fighter Wing and was responsible for the conversion of the Wing to F-104 Starfighter aircraft.

In August 1959, he entered the Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, PA, and after graduation in June 1960, was assigned to the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, VA, where he served on the faculty until June 1964.

Evans was next transferred to Wheelus Air Base, Libya, and served as Deputy for Operations and later, as Vice Commander of the 7272nd Flying Training Wing, the weapons training center for the U.S. Air Forces in Europe.

He volunteered for Southeast Asia duty in 1966 and was transferred to the Republic of Vietnam in May 1967 as Vice Commander, and later was Commander of the 31st Tactical Fighter Wing at Tuy Hoa Air Base. Before returning to the U.S. in May 1968, he completed 278 combat missions in the F-100 Super Sabre aircraft.

In June 1968, Evans was assigned as Assistant Deputy Director for Concepts and Operational Readiness, Defense Communications Planning Group, Washington, DC, and in June 1969 he assumed duties as the Deputy Director.

In February 1970, Evans was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington D.C., as Special Assistant for Sensor Exploitation, a newly created office. He was transferred in April 1971 to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Research and Development, as Director of Operational Requirements and Development Plans, and in September 1971 he become Director of Development and Acquisitions. In April 1972, Evans became Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff, Research and Development, and in August 1973 he was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff, Research and Development.

On 30 August 1975 Evans was promoted to the four-star rank of General and assigned as Commander of the Air Force Systems Command at Andrews Air Force Base, MD.

He assumed duties as Commander, Allied Air Forces Central Europe and Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, on 29 July 1977.

General Evans was rated a Command Pilot. He had over 6,200 flying hours logged, the majority of which were in fighter aircraft, including the P-51 Mustang, P-82 Twin Mustang, P-80 Shooting Star, F-84 Thunderjet, F-86 Sabre, F-100 Super Sabre, F-102 Delta Dagger, F-104 Starfighter, F-4 Phantom, F-5 Freedom Fighter, F-111 Aardvark, A-7 Corsair II, F-14 Tomcat, and F-15 Eagle, CF-100 Canuck, Harrier Jump Jet, de Havilland Vampire, Gloster Meteor, Dassault Mirage F1, and Saab 37 Viggen. He has also flown the B-1 Lancer, the McDonnell Douglas DC-10, the T-43 Bobcat, the YC-14 and the YC-15.

General Evans retired from the Air Force in 1978.

Medals and Awards

Distinguished Service Medal (2 Awards)

Silver Star Medal

Legion of Merit (2 Awards)

Distinguished Flying Cross (3 Awards)

Bronze Star Medal

Air Medal (25 Awards)

Joint Service Commendation Medal

Air Force Commendation Medal (2 Awards)

Republic of Vietnam Commendation Medal

Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation


General William John Evans died on 12 December 2000.

Honoree ID: 714   Created by: MHOH




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