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First Name: Dean

Last Name: Strother

Birthplace: Winfield, KS, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Air Force (1947 - present)

Middle Name: Coldwell

Date of Birth: 12 February 1908

Date of Death: 24 September 2000

Rank: General

Years Served: 1931 - 1966
Dean Coldwell Strother

Graduate, U.S. Military Academy, Class of 1931

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Dean Coldwell Strother
General, U.S. Air Force

Dean Coldwell Strother was born on 12 February 1908 in Winfield, KS. He graduated from Winfield High School in 1925 and attended Southwestern College in Winfield until 1927 when he received a Congressional appointment to the U.S. Military Academy. Upon graduation from the Academy in 1931, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. He attended Primary and Advanced Flying Schools at Randolph Field, TX, and received his pilot wings at Kelly Field, TX, in October 1932.

His assignments during the period 1932-42 included: Operations officer at Barksdale Field, LA; Air Mail duty at the Municipal Airport, Chicago, IL; Instrument Flying Instructor at Sherman Field, Fort Leavenworth, KS; pilot with the 72nd Bombardment Squadron, Luke Field, HI; and Adjutant of Randolph Field, TX.

In July 1942, Strother became Staff Fighter Officer of the U.S. Army Forces in the South Pacific area, and when the Thirteenth Air Force was organized in January 1943, he was appointed Chief of the Fighter Command and promoted to Brigadier General in May 1943. From July 1943 to January 1944, he headed an expanded outfit, the Solomon Islands Fighter Command. That unit directed U.S. Army, Navy and Marine, and New Zealand fighters who helped turn back the Japanese threatening Australia.

Strother flew to Italy in January 1944 to command the 306th Fighter Wing of the Fifteenth Air Force, and assumed Command of the Fifteenth Fighter Command in October 1944. From Italy, he personally led a U.S. fighter task force to Russia to provide direct assistance for the Russian offensive in the East. During this operation, he won the Silver Star for gallantry in action.

Returning to the U.S. in October 1945, Strother was assigned as Commander of the West Coast Wing of the Air Training Command's Pacific Division at Hamilton Field, CA, until August 1946 when he was selected to attend the National War College at Washington, DC. Upon graduation from the War College in June 1947, he was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force as Chief, Military Personnel Division, DCS/PA; Director Military Personnel, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff and Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, until March 1951. He then assumed Command of the Twelfth Air Force (U.S. Air Forces in Europe) and the Fourth Allied Tactical Air Force at Wiesbaden, Germany.

In November 1953, he returned to the U.S. as Deputy Commander of the Air University at Maxwell Air Force Base, AL, and became its Commander in June 1956. In July 1958, Strother was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force as Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations.

On 30 June 1962 he was promoted to the four-star rank of General and, in November 1962, he was appointed as the U.S. representative to the Military Committee and Standing Group NATO. In April 1965, he assumed his assignment as Commander-in-Chief, North American Air Defense Command / Commander-in-Chief, Continental Air Defense Command (CINCNORAD/CINCONAD), from 1965 to 1966.

General Strother retired from the Air Force on 31 July 1966.

Medals and Awards

Distinguished Service Medal (2 Awards)
Silver Star Medal
Legion of Merit (2 Awards)
Distinguished Flying Cross
Air Medal (4 Awards)
Air Force Commendation Medal

He was rated as a Command Pilot.


Strother's youngest brother, Donald Root Strother, was the first Army Air Corp pilot from Cowley County, KS, to lose his life in World War II. Strother Field is named in his honor.

Death and Burial

General Dean Coldwell Strother died on 24 September 2000. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.

Honoree ID: 848   Created by: MHOH




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