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First Name: Thomas

Last Name: White

Birthplace: Walker, MN, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Air Force (1947 - present)

Middle Name: Dresser

Date of Birth: 06 August 1901

Date of Death: 22 December 1965

Rank: General

Years Served: 1920-1961
Thomas Dresser White

Graduate, U.S. Military Academy, Class of 1920

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


Thomas Dresser White
General, U.S. Air Force

Thomas Dresser White was born on 6 August 1901 in Walker, MN. Upon graduation from the U.S. Military Academy on 2 July 1920, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry and immediately promoted to First Lieutenant. Entering the Infantry School at Fort Benning, GA, White graduated in July 1921 and was assigned duty with the 14th Infantry Regiment at Fort Davis, Panama Canal Zone.

In September 1924, he entered Primary Flying School at Brooks Field, TX. He graduated from Advanced Flying School at Kelly Field, TX, in September 1925 and was assigned duty with the 99th Observation Squadron at Bolling Field in Washington, DC.

In June 1927, White was assigned to duty as a student of the Chinese language in Peking, China. Four years later, he returned to the U.S. for duty at Headquarters Air Corps in Washington.

White was named Assistant Military Attaché for Air to Russia in February 1934. A year later, he was appointed Assistant Military Attaché for Air to Italy and Greece, with station at Rome.

White graduated from the Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwell Field, AL, in May 1938. He then entered Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, KS. Upon completion of this training, he was assigned to the Office of the Chief of Air Corps in Washington.

In April 1940, White became Military Attaché to Brazil and the following August was named Chief of the U.S. Military Air Mission to Brazil.

Returning to the U.S. in March 1942, White was appointed Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations of the Third Air Force at MacDill Field, Tampa, FL, and subsequently named Chief of Staff.

Reassigned to Air Force Headquarters in January 1944, he became Assistant Chief of Air Staff for Intelligence.

Proceeding to the Southwest Pacific in September 1944, White assumed duty as the Deputy Commander of the Thirteenth Air Force, taking part in the New Guinea, Southern Philippines and Borneo Campaigns. The following June, he assumed Command of the Seventh Air Force in the Marianas and immediately moved with it to Okinawa. In January 1946, he returned with the Seventh Air Force to Hawaii. That October, he was appointed Chief of Staff of the Pacific Air Command in Tokyo, Japan. One year later, in October 1947, White took command of the Fifth Air Force in Japan.

Transferred to the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force in October 1948, White became Director of the Legislation and Liaison. He was appointed, in May 1950, Air Force Member of the Joint Strategic Survey Committee in the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was assigned as Director of Plans, Headquarters U.S. Air Force in February 1951 and, in July 1951, assumed duties of Deputy Chief of Staff of Operations for the Air Force.

White was promoted to the four-star rank of General on 30 June 1953 and designated Air Force Vice Chief of Staff. On 1 July 1957, he became the 4th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force.

General White retired from active duty on 30 June 1961.

Medals and Awards

Army Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Airman's Medal
Air Medal with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
AF Recognition Ribbon
American Defense Medal with Bronze Service Star
American Theater Campaign Medal
Asia Pacific Medal with 4 Bronze Service Stars
World War II Victor Medal
Army of Occupation Medal
Korean Service Medal
United Nations Service Medal
Command Pilot Badge

Death and Burial

General Thomas Dresser White died on 22 December 1965. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, in Section 30, Lot 702 LH.

Honoree ID: 859   Created by: MHOH




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