Rank Insignia Previous Honoree ID Next Honoree ID

honoree image
First Name: Muir

Last Name: Fairchild

Birthplace: Bellingham, WA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Air Force (1947 - present)

Middle Name: Stephen

Date of Birth: 02 September 1894

Date of Death: 17 March 1950

Rank: General

Years Served: 1916-1950
Muir Stephen Fairchild

•  World War I (1914 - 1918)
•  Mexican Expedition (1916 - 1917)
•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Muir Stephen Fairchild
General, U.S. Air Force

Muir Stephen Fairchild was born on 2 September 1894 to Harry Arson and Georgia Ann Crockett Fairchild. His father was born in Ontario, Canada, but moved to the U.S. and eventually settled in Bellingham, WA, in 1884, where he became a prominent attorney. The Fairchild family moved to the state capitol of Olympia when, in 1905, Muir's father was appointed chairman of the state's Railroad Commission and its successor, the Public Service Commission. He served in that position until his death in 1911.

Fairchild attended public schools in Bellingham and Olympia; in 1913, he enrolled in the University of Washington in Seattle. While in college he enlisted in the Washington National Guard and, in 1916, served as a Radio Platoon Sergeant on the Mexican border. Muir left the University in 1917 without ever completing his requirements for a diploma.

In 1917, Fairchild became a flying cadet at Berkeley, CA. He later went to Europe to complete his training in France and Italy, and received his wings and commission in the Aviation Section in January 1918. He flew bombers in World War I, including night missions over the Rhine with the French forces.

He returned home in December 1918 and served at McCook Field, OH; Mitchel Field, NY, and Langley Field, VA, chiefly in engineering assignments. Between 21 December 1926 and 2 May 1927, he flew to South America in the Pan American Goodwill Tour, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. He completed the course in the Air Corps Engineer School at Wright Field, OH, in June 1929 and went to Santa Monica, CA, as the Air Corps representative to Douglas Aircraft Co. He was promoted to Captain in January 1931.

Muir was a student at the Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwell Field, AL, 1934-35; a student at the Army Industrial College in Washington, DC, in 1935-36, and a student at the Army War College at Washington Barracks, DC, in 1936-37. He was promoted to Major in June 1936 and returned to Maxwell Field as an instructor. During 1937-38, he was Chief of the Air Force Section of the Air Corps Tactical School, Maxwell Field and rose to Instructor in the Department of Air Tactics and Strategy at the Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwell Field in 1938-39. He became Director of Air Tactics and Strategy in July 1939, with a promotion to Lieutenant Colonel in November 1940.

In 1940, Fairchild became Assistant Executive Officer of the Plans Division, Office of the Chief of the Air Corps, Washington, and, in June 1941, he rose to Secretary of the Air Staff, Headquarters U.S. Army Air Forces, Washington. Two months later, Fairchild was advanced two grades to Brigadier General and named Assistant Chief of the Air Corps, Headquarters U.S. Army Air Forces, Washington.

Fairchild became Director of Military Requirements, Headquarters U.S. Army Air Forces, Washington, in March 1942, and was promoted to Major General in August.

In November 1942, he became a member of the Joint Strategic Survey Committee, Office of the Combined Chiefs of Staff, Washington, with additional duties as member of the U.S. Delegation to the Dumbarton Oaks Conference (21 August-7 October 1944) in Washington, and military advisor on the U.S. Delegation to the San Francisco United Nations Conference (25 April-26 June 1945). In January 1946 he was named Commandant of the Air University, Maxwell Field (later, AFB), with a promotion to Lieutenant General.

On 27 May 1948, he became Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, with the four-star rank of General. On 17 March 1950, while on active duty as Vice Chief of Staff, General Fairchild died in his official residence at Fort Myer, VA.

General Fairchild had recently completed a thorough physical examination at the Army and Navy Hospital at Hot Springs, AR, and had been declared to be in good health. However, a short time later he became ill. His wife, Florence Alice Rossiter Fairchild, formerly of Omaha, NE, was with him when he was stricken. At the time of his death, he was attended by Brigadier General Dan C. Ogle, the Air Force Deputy Surgeon. Muir and Florence were married on 24 April 1924.


Fairchild Hall, the main academic building at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO, is named in his honor.

On 1 November 1950, Spokane Air Force Base in Spokane, WA, was re-named Fairchild Air Force Base.

Fairchild Memorial Hall, which houses the Air University Library, and is located at Maxwell Air Force Base, AL, was named in his honor.

Death and Burial

General Muir Stephen Fairchild was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, in Section 34.

His wife, Florence, died on 23 September 1989 and is buried next to him. Both were survived by their daughter, Betty Anne Calvert who died on 20 October 2010.

Honoree ID: 716   Created by: MHOH




Honoree Photos

honoree imagehonoree imagehonoree image

honoree imagehonoree image

honoree image