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First Name: Robert

Last Name: Reed

Birthplace: Elkhorn City, KY, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Air Force (1947 - present)

Middle Name: Harvey

Date of Birth: 10 October 1929

Rank: General

Years Served: 1952-1988
Robert Harvey Reed

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


Robert Harvey Reed

General, U.S. Air Force

Robert Harvey Reed was born on 10 October 1929 in Elkhorn City, KY, and graduated from Warfield High School, also in Kentucky.

From June 1952 to June 1953, Reed attended pilot training at Marana Air Base, AZ, and Williams AFB, also in Arizona, as an aviation cadet. After graduating and being commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, he completed the F-94C Starfire All-Weather Fighter-Interceptor School at Moody AFB, GA, and in December 1953 was assigned to the 332nd Fighter-Interceptor Squadron at New Castle AFB, DE.

He was assigned as an F-89D Scorpion pilot to the 18th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, Ladd AFB, AK, in July 1954. Upon completion of his Alaskan tour of duty in July 1956, he was assigned to the 319th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron at Bunker Hill AFB, IN. Other squadron assignments included duty as Weapons Director and Operations Officer with the 903rd Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, Gettysburg, SD; 740th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, Ellsworth AFB, SD; 916th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, Prince George, British Columbia; and as flight commander, 49th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, Griffiss AFB, NY, where he flew F-101B Voodoos. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from Syracuse University, NY, in 1959.

Reed was assigned to Headquarters 26th Air Division at Hancock Field, NY, in June 1963 as Aide-de-Camp to Major General Arthur C. Agan, Jr. Upon completing Air Command and Staff College in June 1965, he was assigned to Headquarters Air Defense Command, Ent AFB, CO. While there, he served as an Operations Staff Officer and Assistant Executive Officer in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations. He also earned a Master of Public Administration degree from George Washington University that year.

In September 1967, he went to Richards-Gebaur AFB, MO, where he worked for the Commander, 10th Air Force, as Special Assistant for Command Planning. In July 1968, he transferred to the 479th Tactical Fighter Wing, George AFB, CA, and completed F-4 Phantom II combat crew training in preparation for an assignment to Southeast Asia.

He transferred to the 12th Tactical Fighter Wing, Cam Ranh Bay Air Base, Republic of Vietnam, in December 1968, where he served as Operations Officer for the 557th Tactical Fighter Squadron. While there, he completed 305 combat hours in F-4 Phantom IIs. After returning to the U.S. in December 1969, he entered F-106 Delta Dart combat crew training at Tyndall AFB, FL. He then was assigned as Operations Officer for the 84th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron at Hamilton AFB, CA.

Upon graduation from the Air War College in June 1972, he was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, DC, as Chief, Doctrine Development Branch, and later as Assistant Chief, Doctrine Division, in the Directorate of Doctrine, Concepts and Objectives, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans and Operations.

In April 1974, he was assigned to the U.S. Air Force Six Man Group. This was a special study team established by the Chief of Staff to investigate and advise him on matters pertaining to the development and employment of Air Force forces. Upon completion of this study effort in March 1975, he was assigned to the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing, Myrtle Beach AFB, SC, as Vice Commander; he became Commander in August 1976.

Reed was assigned to Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ, in April 1979 as Commander, Tactical Training Davis-Monthan. From July 1980 to August 1982, he served at Tyndall AFB as Commander of the Air Defense Weapons Center. He then transferred to Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Langley AFB, VA, as Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations. In September 1984, he became Air Force Assistant Vice Chief of Staff in Washington. He also served as the Air Force representative, U.S. Delegation to the Military Staff Committee, United Nations.

On 1 July 1986, Reed was promoted to the four-star rank of General and assumed duty as the Chief of Staff of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe.

General Reed retired from the Air Force in 1988. During his service he became a Command Pilot with over 6,100 flying hours.

Medals and Awards

Distinguished Service Medal

Legion of Merit (2 Awards)

Distinguished Flying Cross

Meritorious Service Medal

Air Medal (11 Awards)

Air Force Commendation Medal


Command Pilot Badge

Honoree ID: 819   Created by: MHOH




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