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First Name: Bryce

Last Name: Poe

Birthplace: Wichita, KS, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Air Force (1947 - present)

Date of Birth: 10 October 1924

Date of Death: 20 November 2000

Rank: General

Years Served: 1946-1981
Bryce Poe II

Graduate, U.S. Military Academy, Class of 1946

•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)
•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Bryce Poe II
General, U.S. Air Force

Bryce Poe II was the son of Bryce Poe, Colonel, U.S. Army, and became the fourth generation of military men in his family. He was born in Wichita, KS, but early in life moved with his parents to St. Louis, MO. He graduated from Southwest High School in Kansas City, MO. He then attended the Colorado School of Mines before transferring to the University of Kansas. While there, he received his appointment to the U.S. Military Academy.

Cadet life wasn't a problem for Bryce. He won the trophy as the Academy's top swordsman in 1946. In April of 1945, Bryce opted to begin Air Cadet Training while still in the Academy. As a result, he graduated from the Academy in 1946 with his pilot wings and a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Forces.

From November 1946 to September 1948, Poe was a member of one of the first jet-equipped units in the U.S. Air Force and flew in more than 80 air shows demonstrating the new aircraft. He then transferred to Japan and was assigned to the 82nd Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, which was equipped with RF-80s.

At the beginning of the Korean War, he was transferred to South Korea and flew 90 combat missions, including the first U.S. Air Force jet reconnaissance sortie. He returned to the U.S. and, from January-April 1951, was assigned to a Strategic Air Command fighter escort squadron at Bergstrom AFB, TX. He then transferred to Shaw AFB, SC, as commander of a reconnaissance replacement training unit.

Poe was assigned to Allied Forces Northern Europe, Oslo, Norway, in August 1952 as a Fighter Operations Officer flying de Havilland Vampires, Gloster Meteors, F-84 Thunderjets and F-86 Sabres with the Royal Norwegian and Royal Danish Air Forces. He returned to the U.S. in July 1956 and served as Aide-de-Camp and then Executive Officer to General Bernard Adolph Schriever, Commander, Air Force Western Development Division, in Inglewood, CA.

In August 1959, Poe entered the Armed Forces Staff College. After graduation in January 1960, he went to Offutt AFB, NE, as Operations Officer of an Atlas D Squadron. In October 1961, he transferred to SAC Headquarters as a Missile Plans Officer and later, as Chief, Missile Plans Section, Operations and Training Division. In August 1964, Poe entered the National War College. Following his graduation in July 1965, he served as Chief, Plans Group, Office of Legislative Liaison, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, Washington, DC. He transferred to Bergstrom AFB in July 1967 as Vice Commander of the 75th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing.

He went to Southeast Asia in July 1968 as Vice Commander, 460th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Republic of Vietnam. During this tour of duty, he flew 213 combat missions; 200 of them in RF-4 Phantoms.

From July 1969 to July 1970, Poe was Commander of the 26th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. In July 1970, he assumed duties as Deputy Chief of Staff, Logistics, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Wiesbaden, Germany.

Poe became Commander of the Ogden Air Materiel Area (now Ogden Air Logistics Center) at Hill AFB, UT, in February 1973. In June 1974, he returned to Germany as Vice Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe at Ramstein Air Base.

He was assigned to Wright-Patterson AFB in July 1976 as Commander of the Air Force Acquisition Logistics Division.

On 2 February 1978, Poe was promoted to the four-star rank of General and made Commander of Air Force Logistics Command.

General Poe retired from the Air Force on 31 July 1981.

While in the Air Force, he received a Master of Arts degree in History from the University of Omaha in 1964 and a Master of Science degree in International Affairs from George Washington University in 1965. He also graduated from the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, VA, and the National War College at Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington, DC.

Medals, Awards and Badges

Air Force Distinguished Service Medal with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Legion of Merit
Distinguished Flying Cross with 3 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Bronze Star Medal
Air Medal with 4 Silver Oak Leaf Clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Presidential Unit Citation with 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (2 Awards)
Combat Readiness Medal
American Campaign Medal
Army of Occupation Medal (Japan)
National Defense Service Medal with Service Star
Korean Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal with 2 Service Stars
Air Force Longevity Service Award with Silver and 3 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon
Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
United Nations Service Medal
Vietnam Campaign Medal
Command Pilot Badge
Master Missileman Badge

Foreign Medals

Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces Honor Medal 1st Class
Republic of Korea Order of National Security Merit, Tong-Il (South Korea)
Most Exalted Order of the White Elephant (1st Class, Knight Grand Cross) (Thailand)
Grand Cross of Aeronautic Merit with Distinctive White (Spain)
State King Faisal Medal 1st Degree (Saudi Arabia)

In Retirement

After retiring from the Air Force, Bryce and his wife, Kari (Rollum) Poe, lived in Alexandria, VA. Bryce wrote about military history and was a consultant through the 1990s on military base closings, and other matters.


General Bryce Poe II died on 20 November 2000 at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital after suffering a stroke.

Survivors include his wife, Kari of Alexandria, VA; son, Bryce III and his son Bryce IV of Kansas City, MO; daughter Susan Dickson, husband Scott, and their daughter, Miranda of Austin, TX; daughter, Karen Watts, husband Paul, and their daughter Kari and son Braden of Cincinnati, OH.

Insight into Bryce Poe

Late in his life, Bryce was asked to provide the character traits that best described his life; he was also asked how he wanted to be remembered. His friends say that his responses are indicative of his greatness:

"Concern and respect for those I worked, flew and fought alongside and a sense of mission. Never transferred a problem to another commander and tried to set an example."

"I never played political games nor backed away from a confrontation for fear of hurting my career. I never wanted to do anything else and after retirement kept busy but missed active duty every day."

"I never envied anybody and I think I gave it my best shot. I'm afraid as I sit in retirement someone will say, 'gentlemen, join your regiments and I'm going to miss it. I can't figure out any way not to go."

Honoree ID: 813   Created by: MHOH




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