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Gen Harold Lee George
Birth: Jul. 19, 1893
Somerville
Middlesex County
Massachusetts, USA
Death: Feb. 24, 1986
Los Angeles
Los Angeles County
California, USA

US Army and Air Force General. An American aviation pioneer, he was influential in helping shape and promote the concept of daytime precision bombing during World War II. He attended George Washington University in Washington DC, but decided to interrupt his studies when the US became directly involved in World War I in 1917. He joined the US Army and in May 1917 and received his commission as second lieutenant in the Cavalry as a reserve officer. A month later, he went on active duty with the Cavalry at Fort Myer, Virginia and in October 1917 he resigned his reserve commission to become a flying cadet with the Aviation Section, US Signal Corps. He attended the ASSC School of Military Aeronautics set up on the campus of Princeton University and learned to fly at Love Field, Texas, receiving his rating of Reserve Military Aviator in March 1918. The following September, he went to France with an initial assignment to the 7th Aviation Instruction Center (bombardment) at Clermont-Ferrand and two months later he was posted to Ourches-sur-Meuse with the 163rd Aero Squadron, one of two DH-4B day bomber squadrons of the new 2nd Day Bombardment Group, 2nd Army Air Service. In the week it saw action in November 1918, just prior to the armistice, the 163d flew 69 sorties in support of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. After the war, he was assigned to the 49th Bombardment Squadron at Kelly Field (now Kelly Field Annex Joint Base San Antonio), Texas, where he was promoted to first lieutenant in April 1921. He next served with the 14th Bombardment Squadron at Langley Field (now Joint Base Langley-Eustis), Virginia, and with the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. From 1921 to 1923, he assisted future Army General William "Billy" Mitchell in his bombing demonstration against old battleships, and helped develop air-to-ship tactics. In August 1925 he went to Washington DC as chief of the Bombardment Section in the Operations Division of the Office of the Chief of Air Service. Later that year, he was one of several young air officers to testify at Mitchell's court-martial. In July 1929 he was assigned to Luke Field, Hawaii for two years with the 5th Composite Group. In September 1931 he went to Maxwell Field (now Maxwell Air Force Base), Alabama, to study at the Air Corps Tactical School (ACTS) where he helped refine the precision daylight bomber doctrine taught there and was promoted to the rank of captain. Following graduation, he became an instructor at ACTS, teaching air tactics and precision bombing doctrine, and became de facto leader of the influential "Bomber Mafia". With future Army generals Haywood S. Hansell, Laurence S. Kuter and Donald Wilson, he researched, debated and codified what the men believed would be a war-winning strategy that Wilson termed "industrial web theory". In 1934 he became director of the Department of Air Tactics and Strategy, and vigorously promoted the doctrine of precision bombing in which massed air fleets of heavy bombers would be commanded independently of naval or ground warfare needs. That same year, he helped institute the Order of Daedalians, a fraternal and professional order of American military pilots, and served as its first Wing Commander. Promoted to the rank of major in July 1936, he attended the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, the following year and returned to Langley as commanding officer of the 96th Bombardment Squadron. In February 1938 and November 1939 he flew to South America as a part of Air Corps goodwill flights. In 1940 he became commander of the 2nd Bombardment Group, which three years earlier had become the first unit equipped with the B-17 Flying Fortress bomber aircraft. He also filled the position of Executive Officer of the 2nd Bombardment Wing. In February 1941 he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel and the following July he became assistant chief of staff for Air War Plans Division (AWPD), a unit of the newly created US Army Air Force staff in Washington. In that capacity he assembled a small group of "bomber mafia" members (including Hansell, Kuter, and Kenneth N. Walker) to prepare AWPD-1, an estimate of air resources needed in the event of war that became the plan for the air war against Germany. After the US entered World War II, he was promoted to the rank of colonel in January 1942, and to brigadier general in April 1942 when he took command of the Air Corps Ferrying Command (ACFC). In June 1942 he was promoted to the rank of major general and ACFC was redesignated Air Transport Command. It was tasked to become not just a delivery service of aircraft from factory to the field, but a worldwide cargo and personnel air transportation service. He led it brilliantly throughout World War II, with the able assistance of many staff officers. He took the ferrying command from 130 obsolescent aircraft to 3,000 modern military transports, and expanded the number of personnel from 11,000 to 300,000. After the end of World War II, he served for a while as director of information for the USAAF and as senior Air Force representative of the military staff of the United Nations. In March 1945 he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general and he retired from active duty on December 31, 1946, with 29 years of continued military service in the US Army and US Army Air Corps. Among his military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal, the World War I Victory Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, as well as decorations from Great Britain, France, Brazil, Peru and China. After his retirement, he accepted a position at Hughes Aircraft in Glendale, California to work for Howard Hughes, along with fellow bomber advocate Ira C. Eaker. In 1948, after moving to Beverly Hills, California, he was elected to its City Council in 1952. In 1953 he left Hughes Aircraft to help form the Ramo-Wooldridge Corporation, competing directly with Hughes by developing ballistic missile defenses. In 1954 he was elected mayor of Beverly Hills, California, a one-year term, serving a second term in 1959. In February 1955 he was recalled to active duty in the US Air Force for eight months as special consultant to the Air Force Chief of Staff. He died at the age of 92. Since 1956, in his honor, the Order of Daedalians has awarded the Lieutenant General Harold L. George Civilian Airmanship Award, a trophy that is presented annually to the pilot, copilot and/or crew of a US certified commercial airline selected by a Federal Aviation committee to have demonstrated ability, judgment and/or heroism above and beyond normal operational requirements. The US Air Force Aid Society bestows the Lieutenant General Harold Lee George Educational Grant Award. In 1991 he was inducted into the Airlift/Tanker Association Hall of Fame. (bio by: William Bjornstad) 
 
Burial:
United States Air Force Academy Cemetery
Colorado Springs
El Paso County
Colorado, USA
Plot: 003 A 069
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Garver Graver
Record added: Sep 18, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 29902059
Gen Harold Lee George
Added by: K
 
Gen Harold Lee George
Added by: Ron West
 
Gen Harold Lee George
Cemetery Photo
Added by: pearl
 
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Thank you for your dedicated military service to our country in time of peace and war. May you rest in peace.
- William Bjornstad
 Added: Feb. 8, 2014

- Lazer
 Added: Dec. 21, 2013

- Mellissa Lake Co. Illinois
 Added: Jul. 19, 2013
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