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First Name: Patrick

Last Name: Gamble


Gender: Male

Branch: Air Force (1947 - present)

Middle Name: K.

Date of Birth: 12 November 1945

Rank: General

Years Served: 1967-2001
Patrick K. Gamble

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Patrick K. Gamble

General, U.S. Air Force

Patrick K. Gamble was born on 12 November 1945.

Gamble was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Air Force in 1967 through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program at Texas A&M University. He flew 394 combat missions as a Forward Air Controller in the O-1 Bird Dog in Vietnam. He has commanded a fighter squadron and three wings.

From November 1997 - July 1998, he was Deputy Chief of Staff for Air and Space Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, DC.

On 1 October 1998, Gamble was promoted to the rank of four-star General and assigned as Commander, Pacific Air Forces (COMPACAF).

General Gamble retired from the Air Force on 1 May 2001. During his service, he became a Command Pilot with over 3,100 flight hours. The aircraft flown include the O-1, F-102, F-106, F-16A/C and F-15C.


1967 Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics, Texas A&M University, College Station

1978 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, AL

1978 Master of Business Administration and Management degree, Auburn University, Auburn, AA

1984 Distinguished graduate, Air War College, Maxwell AFB, AL


December 1967 - January 1969, student, undergraduate pilot training, Randolph AFB, TX.

February 1969 - April 1969, forward air controller training, Hurlburt Field, FL.

May 1969 - May 1970, forward air controller, O-1 Bird Dog, Duc Hoa Village, South Vietnam.

May 1970 - November 1970, student, F-102 interceptor training, Perrin AFB, TX.

November 1970 - January 1971, F-106 upgrade pilot training, Tyndall AFB, FL.

February 1971 - January 1974, Life Support Officer, F-106 Instructor Pilot and Flight Commander, 460th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, Grand Forks AFB, ND.

January 1974 - January 1975, Air Staff Training Assignment, Directorate of Personnel Programs, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, DC.

January 1975 - July 1977, Chief of Standardization and Evaluation, 87th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, K.I. Sawyer AFB, MI.

August 1977 - July 1978, student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, AL.

July 1978 - May 1981, Chief, Air Threat Analysis Group (Red Team), Project Checkmate, Directorate of Operations and Readiness, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington.

May 1981 - June 1983, Commander, 318th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, McChord AFB, WA.

July 1983 - June 1984, student, Air War College, Maxwell AFB, AL.

June 1984 - July 1986, Chief, Operations Management and Analysis Division; Chief, Contingency Plans Division; Deputy Director, then Director, Personnel Plans and Systems, Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Langley AFB, VA.

July 1986 - April 1988, Director of Operations, then Vice Commander, 474th Tactical Fighter Wing, Nellis AFB, NV.

April 1988 - June 1989, Commander, 18th Combat Support Wing, Kadena AB, Japan.

June 1989 - June 1990, Commander, 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, Kunsan AB, South Korea.

June 1990 - June 1992, Executive Officer to the Air Force Chief of Staff, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington.

August 1992 - June 1993, Commander, 58th Fighter Wing, Luke AFB, AZ.

June 1993 - November 1994, Commandant of Cadets and Commander, 34th Training Wing, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO.

November 1994 - August 1996, Assistant Chief of Staff, Operations and Logistics Division, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, Belgium.

August 1996 - November 1997, Commander, Alaskan Command, Alaskan North American Aerospace Defense Command Region, 11th Air Force and Joint Task Force Alaska, Elmendorf AFB, AK.

November 1997 - July 1998, Deputy Chief of Staff, Air and Space Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington.

July 1998 - 2001, Commander, Pacific Air Forces, Hickam AFB, HI.

Promotion Dates

Second Lieutenant - 13 December 1967

First Lieutenant - 13 June 1969

Captain - 13 December 1970

Major - 1 June 1976

Lieutenant Colonel - 1 September 1980

Colonel - 1 September 1985

Brigadier General - 1 November 1991

Major General - 28 September 1994

Lieutenant General - 1 September 1996

General - 1 October 1998

Medals and Awards

Defense Distinguished Service Medal (2 Awards)

Air Force Distinguished Service Medal (2 Awards)

Legion of Merit

Distinguished Flying Cross

Meritorious Service Medal (3 Awards)

Air Medal (14 Awards)

Air Force Commendation Medal

Army Presidential Unit Citation (2 Awards)

Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with "Valor" Device (4 Awards)

Vietnam Service Medal with 3 Service Stars

Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Service Star

Republic of Vietnam Staff Service Honor Medal First Class

Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm

NATO Medal


Command Pilot Badge


1976 Member, William Tell Air-to-Air Weapons Competition Team, 87th Fighter Interceptor Squadron

1982 Team leader, William Tell Air-to-Air Competition Team, 318th Fighter Interceptor Squadron

In Retirement

Following his retirement from the Air Force, Gamble became a Senior Executive for the Alaska Railroad, where he succeeded Bill Sheffield as President of the railroad.

In 2010, he retired from the railroad and accepted appointment as President of the University of Alaska, succeeding Mark R. Hamilton, himself a retired General (Army).


He and his wife Ailese have been married 43 years, and have a grown son and one grandchild.

Honoree ID: 723   Created by: MHOH




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