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First Name: John

Last Name: Pauly

Birthplace: Albany, NY, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Air Force (1947 - present)

Middle Name: William

Date of Birth: 12 March 1923

Rank: General

Years Served: 1941-1979
John William Pauly

Graduate, U.S. Military Academy, Class of 1945

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


John William Pauly

General, U.S. Air Force

John William Pauly was born on 12 March 1923 Albany, NY. He graduated from Christian Brothers Academy in Albany in 1940, and attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, for two years before entering the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1942. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from the Academy and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Forces in June 1945. He also earned his pilot wings while attending the Academy.

Pauly's first military assignment was to attend B-25 Mitchell and B-17 Flying Fortress transition training and Junior Officers Staff School prior to reporting to the 60th Troop Carrier Group in Munich, Germany, in February 1946. He later served there as an Instructor at the Central Pilots School of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe and as Assistant Operations Officer for the 11th Troop Carrier Squadron.

Returning to the U.S. in June 1948, he was assigned as a Training Officer and later, Commander of the Headquarters Squadron for the Mobile Air Materiel Area at Brookley AFB, AL.

In November 1951, during the Korean War, Pauly was assigned to the 8th Bombardment Squadron, 3rd Bombardment Wing, at Kunsan Air Base, as Flying Safety Officer and Squadron Operations Officer. While with the 3rd Bombardment Wing, he flew 55 night intruder combat missions, totaling 230 combat hours in B-26 Marauder aircraft.

Following his tour of duty in Korea, Pauly was assigned to Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Langley AFB, VA, in July 1952. Over a span of almost four years, he served as an Operations Staff Officer and then as Chief of the Bombardment Division within the Operations Directorate.

In February 1956, he returned to Germany and served in a North Atlantic Treaty Organization assignment with Headquarters 4th Allied Tactical Air Force as an Operations Officer within the Bombardment Division and Executive Officer for the Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations.

Pauly was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force in July 1959 and served as a Planning and Programming Officer in the Directorate of Plans until 1962, when he became the Assistant Executive Officer to General Curtis E. LeMay, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force.

In August 1964, he entered the National War College in Washington DC, and upon graduation the following summer, served as Deputy Commander for Operations, 317th Troop Carrier Wing, Lockbourne AFB, OH. Pauly was awarded a Master of Science degree in International Relations from George Washington University in 1965.

Pauly was assigned as the Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations, for the 315th Air Division, Tachikawa Air Base, Japan, in June 1966. In July 1968, he assumed Command of the 315th Air Commando Wing at Phan Rang Air Base, Republic of Vietnam.

In July 1969, Pauly was transferred to the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, as the Air Force member of the Chairman's Staff Group, while General Earle G. Wheeler was Chairman. In September 1970, he was assigned as Deputy Director for Regional Operations, J-3, of the Joint Staff and in June 1972 became Vice Director for Operations of the Joint Staff.

Pauly assumed command of the 1st Strategic Aerospace Division with headquarters at Vandenberg AFB, CA, in August 1973. In July 1974, he returned to Washington and served as Assistant to the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff and in September 1975 became the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Operations, Headquarters USAF. In July 1976, Pauly was assigned as Vice Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Air Forces Europe.

On 1 August 1978, Pauly was promoted to the four-star rank of General and was appointed Commander-in-Chief of USAFE (CINCUSAFE), as well as Commander, Allied Air Forces Central Europe (COMAAFCE).

General Pauly retired from the Air Force on 31 July 1980. He ended his service as a Command Pilot with more than 6,000 hours of flying time.

Medals and Awards

Distinguished Service Medal (2 Awards)

Legion of Merit (3 Awards)

Distinguished Flying Cross (2 Awards)

Air Medal (5 Awards)

Joint Service Commendation Medal (2 Awards)

Air Force Commendation Medal

Republic of Vietnam, the Air Force Distinguished Service Order (2nd Class)

Distinguished Service Order, 2nd Class

Gallantry Cross with Palm


Command Pilot Badge

Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge


In 2001, he was awarded a Distinguished Alumni Award from his alma mater, the Christian Brothers Academy.

Honoree ID: 810   Created by: MHOH




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