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First Name: Jerome

Last Name: O'Malley

Birthplace: Carbondale, PA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Air Force (1947 - present)

Middle Name: Francis

Date of Birth: 25 February 1932

Date of Death: 20 April 1985

Rank: General

Years Served:
Jerome Francis O'Malley

Graduate, U.S. Military Academy, Class of 1953

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Jerome Francis O'Malley

General, U.S. Air Force

Jerome Francis O'Malley was born on 25 February 1932 in Carbondale, PA, and graduated from St. Rose Parochial School in 1949. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1953 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Military Science and a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force.

After receiving his pilot wings in August 1954 at Bryan AFB, TX, O'Malley received jet training in F-86 Sabrejets at Perrin AFB, TX. In January 1955, he was assigned as an Air Training Officer at the U.S. Air Force Academy; then located at Lowry AFB, CO. He attended B-47 transition training at McConnell AFB, KS, from December 1957 to February 1958, and was then assigned as a B-47 pilot with the 529th Bombardment Squadron at Plattsburgh AFB, NY. From June 1960 to August 1964, O'Malley served as Aide-de-Camp to General Hunter Harris, who was 8th Air Force Commander at Westover AFB, MA, and then Vice Commander-in-Chief, Strategic Air Command, Offutt AFB, NE.

Following graduation with distinction from the Air Command and Staff College in June 1965, O'Malley served as a pilot with the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Beale AFB, CA. While there, he flew the first operational mission of the SR-71. In July 1969, he entered the Naval War College.

From July 1970 to April 1971, he was Director of Operations for the 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, Mountain Home AFB, ID, and flew RF-4Cs. O'Malley then left for Southeast Asia and served as Vice Commander and later, Commander of the 460th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Republic of Vietnam. In September 1971, he was assigned as Vice Commander of the 432nd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand. He flew 116 combat missions in F-4Ds and RF-4Cs.

He commanded the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing at Beale AFB from May 1972 to May 1973. He was then named Commander of the 22nd Bombardment Wing, March AFB, CA, and later served as Chief of Staff for 15th Air Force, also located at March AFB. He was then assigned as Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans at SAC Headquarters, Offutt AFB, from July 1974 to June 1975, when he was named Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations Plans.

In January 1977, he moved to Washington, DC, for duty as Vice Director for Operations, Operations Directorate, Joint Staff, Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. O'Malley served as Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations, Plans and Readiness at U.S. Air Force Headquarters, from May 1979 to August 1980, when he became Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Operations.

On 1 June 1982, O'Malley was promoted to the four-star rank of General and appointed Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force. In October 1983, he was assigned as Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Air Forces, Hickam AFB, HI.

General O'Malley assumed Command of Tactical Air Command in September 1984. He died on 20 April 1985 with his wife, Diane, when the CT-39 SabreLiner they were in experienced brake failure and crashed at the Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport.

During his service, O'Malley became a Command Pilot with over 5,000 flying hours.

While in the Air Force, O'Malley completed the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base, AL, and concurrently earned a Master's Degree in Business Administration from George Washington University, Washington, DC, in 1965. He graduated from the Naval War College, Newport, RI, in 1970.

Medals and Awards

Distinguished Service Medal (2 Awards)

Defense Superior Service Medal

Legion of Merit

Distinguished Flying Cross (2 Awards)

Meritorious Service Medal

Air Medal (10 Awards)

Air Force Commendation Medal (4 Awards)

Presidential Unit Citation (3 Awards)

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

Republic of Korea Order of National Security Merit

Republic of Vietnam Air Service Medal Honor Class

Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm

Death and Burial

General Jerome Francis O'Malley died on 20 April 1985 with his wife, Diane, when the CT-39 SabreLiner they were in experienced brake failure and crashed at the Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport.

The General and Diane are buried together at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, in Section 30.

Honoree ID: 808   Created by: MHOH




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