Rank Insignia Previous Honoree ID Next Honoree ID

honoree image
First Name: John

Last Name: Handy

Birthplace: Raleigh, NC, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Air Force (1947 - present)

Middle Name: W.

Date of Birth: 29 April 1944

Rank: General

Years Served:
John W. Handy


John W. Handy

General, U.S. Air Force

John W. Handy was born on 29 April 1944 in Raleigh, NC.

Handy completed Officer Training School and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Air Force in 1967. He received his pilot wings in 1968. He has commanded the 21st Air Force at McGuire AFB, NJ; the Air Mobility Command's Tanker Airlift Control Center; two airlift wings and a maintenance squadron. He has served as the Director of Operations and Logistics for USTRANSCOM; the Air Force's Director of Programs and Evaluations, and as Deputy Chief of Staff, Installations and Logistics, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, DC.

On 1 July 2000, Handy was promoted to the four-star rank of General and was named Vice Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force (VCSAF). In 2001 he was assigned as Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Transportation Command (USCINCTRANS) and Commander, Air Mobility Command (COMAMC). In 2002 he became Commander, U.S. Transportation Command (CDRUSTRANSCOM) and Commander, Air Mobility Command (COMAMC).

General Handy retired from the Air Force on 1 October 2005. During his service, he became a Command Pilot with over 5,000 flying hours, principally in airlift aircraft. As a C-130 Hercules pilot, he logged more than 300 combat hours in Southeast Asia. The aircraft flown include the C-130 Hercules, C-141, C-17, C-7A, C-9, C-37 and KC-10.


1966 Bachelor's degree in History, Methodist College, Fayetteville, NC

1972 Squadron Officer School

1979 Air Command and Staff College

1979 Master's degree in Systems Management, University of Southern California

1982 Air War College

1984 National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, DC.

1993 Program for Senior Executives, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Medals and Awards

Defense Distinguished Service Medal

Distinguished Service Medal

Legion of Merit (2 Awards)

Meritorious Service Medal (4 Awards)

Air Medal (2 Awards)

Antarctica Service Medal

Vietnam Service Medal with 3 Bronze Stars

Philippine Presidential Unit Citation

Légion d'honneur

Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm


Command Pilot Badge
Joint Chiefs of Staff Badge


• He received a 1992 Honorary doctor of Humanities from Methodist College.

• In 2005 he was inducted into the Air Force Order of the Sword.

Honoree ID: 729   Created by: MHOH




Honoree Photos

honoree imagehonoree imagehonoree image

honoree imagehonoree image

honoree image