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First Name: William

Last Name: McBride

Birthplace: Wampum, PA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Air Force (1947 - present)

Middle Name: Vincent

Date of Birth: 25 May 1922

Rank: General

Years Served: 1943-1978
William Vincent McBride

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)
•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)
•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


William Vincent McBride

General, U.S. Air Force

William Vincent McBride was born 25 May 1922 in Wampum, PA. He received his high school education in that town and later attended the Garfield Business Institute, Beaver Falls, PA.

Military Career

McBride enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Forces in 1942 and entered aviation cadet training. He completed navigation training at the Pan American Airways Navigation School, Coral Gables, FL, and graduated as a Second Lieutenant. He next attended bombardier school in Carlsbad, NM, and in March 1943 entered combat crew training as a navigator-bombardier in B-26 Marauder aircraft at MacDill Field, FL.

In July 1943 he joined the 387th Bombardment Group in the European Theater of Operations as Squadron Navigator and later served as Group Navigator. He helped plan, and flew on, many of the important missions in support of the Allied ground forces offensive, including D-Day operations.

After World War II, he trained new navigators at Ellington Field, TX, and then was assigned to Lackland Army Air Field, TX, to help organize the present Air Force Basic Training Base. He attended basic and advanced pilot training at Randolph Air Force Base, TX, and Barksdale Air Force Base, LA, in 1947-1948 to become a triple-rated officer. In 1950 he attended New York University in New York City.

After that time, many of his military assignments were in the Military Airlift Command in weather reconnaissance, air rescue and airlift functions.

During the Korean War, he Commanded the Second Air Rescue Group in Okinawa and in the Philippines. After a tour of duty in Headquarters Air Rescue Service as Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, he Commanded the Eighth Air Rescue Group at Stead Air Force Base, NV, during 1956-57. He then Commanded the 1608th Air Transport Group at Charleston AFB, SC. The group was responsible for providing airlift to Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.

In 1959, McBride was assigned as a student to the National War College in Washington, DC, and in early 1960, as a member of a small official group of National War College students, visited Moscow and toured points of interest in the Soviet Union.

In July 1960 he was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Directorate of Plans, to work on problems related to counterinsurgency and special warfare. He served first as Assistant Chief of the Cold War Division and later as the Chief of the Special Warfare Division.

In June 1964, he was selected by Secretary of the Air Force Eugene M. Zuckert to become his Military Assistant. When Secretary Harold Brown replaced Mr. Zuckert in October 1965, McBride remained as the Military Assistant where he was called on to advise and assist the Secretary and Undersecretary on operational, planning and programming matters.

He was assigned as Commander of the 437th Military Airlift Wing, Charleston AFB, SC, in August 1966. McBride was assigned to Headquarters Military Airlift Command in March 1969 as Deputy Chief of Staff, Materiel; he became Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations, in September 1969; and Chief of Staff, Military Airlift Command, in March 1970.

McBride was assigned as Vice Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, with headquarters at Lindsey Air Station, Wiesbaden, Germany, in September 1971. He assumed Command of Air Training Command in September 1972.

On 1 September 1974, McBride was promoted to the four-star rank of General and assigned as Commander of the Air Force Logistics Command.

McBride was appointed as Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force on 1 September 1975.

General McBride retired from the Air Force on 31 March 1978.

Medals and Awards

Distinguished Service Medal (3 Awards)

Legion of Merit (3 Awards)

Distinguished Flying Cross

Air Medal (14 Awards)

Presidential Unit Citation Emblem

Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (2 Awards)

French Croix de Guerre with Gold Palm

General McBride was rated as a Command Pilot and as a Navigator.

Honoree ID: 780   Created by: MHOH




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