Actions
Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Spaatzs in:
 • United States Air Force Academy Cemetery
 • Colorado Springs
 • El Paso County
 • Colorado
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Community Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Advertisement
GEN Carl Andrew Spaatz
Birth: Jun. 28, 1891
Boyertown
Berks County
Pennsylvania, USA
Death: Jul. 14, 1974
Washington
District of Columbia
District Of Columbia, USA

US Air Force General. He is remembered as the first Chief of Staff of the newly created US Air Force, that became a separate branch of the Department of Defense from the US Army in September 1947. Born Carl Andrew Spatz in Boyertown, Pennsylvania, he added the second "a" in his last name was added in 1937, when he grew tired of people mispronouncing his last name. A red-head, he received his nickname "Tooey" after entering the US Military Academy at West Point, New York in 1910 because of his resemblance to another red-headed cadet named F.J. Toohey. He graduated from West Point in June 1914 and received a commission as a 2nd lieutenant in the Infantry. He first served with the 25th Infantry at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, until his assignment to the Signal Corps Aviation School at San Diego, California, between October 1915 and May 1916, for pilot training and earned his Junior Military Aviation rating. The following month, he was then detailed to the Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps in Mexico where he served in the First Aero Squadron which was attached to General John J. Pershing during the Punitive Expedition. He was promoted to the rank of 1st lieutenant in July 1916 and to captain in 1917. After the US entered World War I, he was sent with the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) in command of the 31st Aero Squadron and appointed Officer in Charge, American Aviation School at Issoudun, France but after receiving orders to return to the US, he saw three weeks of action during the final months of the war with the 13th Aero Squadron as a supernumerary pilot. In this brief period, he shot down three enemy planes and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and was promoted to the temporary rank of major in June 1918. In 1919 he served in California and Texas and became assistant department air service officer for the Western Department in July 1919. He experienced the chaotic ups and downs in rank common to Regular officers in 1920, when the National Defense Act of 1920 reorganized the military. He first reverted to his permanent rank of captain of Infantry 27 February 1920 and in July 1920, when the Air Service became a combatant arm of the line, he transferred to them as a captain, then was promoted to the rank of major on the same date by virtue of a provision in the National Defense Act that allowed officers who earned their rank in service with the AEF to retain it. This made him senior to a number of officers, including Henry H. Arnold (his superior at the time), with greater longevity of service. From October 1920 until February 1921, he commanded Kelly Field (now Kelly Field Annex as part of Joint Base San Antonio), Texas, then served at Fort Sam Houston as air officer of the 8th Corps Area until November 1921, and was commanding officer of the 1st Pursuit Group, first at Ellington Field, Texas, and later at Selfridge Field, Michigan, until September 24, 1924. He graduated from the Air Corps Tactical School, Langley Field (now Langley Air Force Base), Virginia, in June 1925, and then served in the Office of the Chief of Air Corps at Washington, DC. From January 1 to January 7, 1929, he along with fellow Air Corps officers, Captain Ira Eaker and Lieutenant Elwood Quesada, both of whom would later become senior US Army Air Forces (USAAF) generals, established an aviation record by keeping the airplane Question Mark in the air over the Los Angeles vicinity for over 150 hours. From May 1929 until October 1931, he commanded the 7th Bombardment Group at Rockwell Field (now Naval Air Station, North Island), California, and the 1st Bombardment Wing at March Field (now March Air Reserve Base), California, until June 1933. He then transferred to Washington DC where he served in the Office of the Chief of Air Corps and became chief of the Training and Operations Division. In August 1935, he enrolled in the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and while there was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel. He graduated in June 1936, and then served at Langley Field on the staff of Maj. Gen. Frank M. Andrews, commander of General Headquarters Air Force, until January 1939, when he returned to the Office of the Chief of Air Corps at Washington as assistant executive officer. In November 1939, he received a temporary promotion to the rank of colonel, and during the Battle of Britain in July 1940, spent several weeks in England as a special military observer. In August 1940, he was assigned back to Washington DC in the Office of the Chief of Air Corps, and two months later was appointed assistant to the chief of Air Corps, General Arnold, with the temporary rank of brigadier general. He became chief of the Plans Division of the Air Corps in November 1940, and the following July was named chief of the air staff at Army Air Forces Headquarters. After the US entry into World War II, Army Chief of Staff George Marshall named him commander of Air Force Combat Command in January 1942 and promoted him to the temporary rank of major general. In May 1942 he became commander of the 8th Air Force and transferred its headquarters to England the following July. He was placed in overall command of the US Army Air Forces in the European Theater of Operations, while retaining his 8th Air Force command. In September 1942 he was promoted to the permanent rank of colonel and in March 1943 received a temporary promotion to the rank of lieutenant general and was assigned command of the 12th Air Force in North Africa in March 1943. He became commander of the Allied Northwest African Air Force in February 1943, the 15th Air Force and Royal Air Forces in Italy in November 1943, and the US Strategic Air Forces in Europe in January 1944. As commander of Strategic Air Forces, he directed the US portion of the strategic bombing campaign against Germany, under the direct command of General Dwight David Eisenhower. In March 1944 he proposed the Oil Plan for bombing, and in June 1944 during the Operation Crossbow priority bombing of V-1 sites aimed at Britain, he advocated, and received authorization from Eisenhower for, bombing of those targets at a lower priority. His Oil Plan became the highest bombing priority in September 1944. In 1944 he received the Collier Trophy for "demonstrating the air power concept through employment of American aviation in the war against Germany." In March 1945 he was promoted to the temporary rank of general. After Germany's surrender in May 1945, he was transferred to the Pacific in July 1945 and assumed command of the US Strategic Air Forces in the Pacific as part of the Pacific Theater of Operations, with headquarters on Guam. He directed the strategic bombing of Japan, including the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He had been present at Reims, France when the Germans surrendered to the Americans on May 7, 1945, at Berlin, Germany when they surrendered to the Russians two days later, and aboard the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay when the Japanese surrendered on September 2. He was the only man of general rank or equivalent present at all three of these acts of surrender. In July 1945, President Harry Truman nominated him for promotion to the permanent rank of general. He was appointed Commanding General of the Army Air Forces in February 1946 following General Arnold's retirement. After the creation of the independent Air Force by the National Security Act of 1947, he was appointed as the first Chief of Staff of the new US Air Force in September 1947. He retired in that position on June 30, 1948, with 44 years of active military service in the US Army, US Army Air Force, and US Air Force. Among his military awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star, the Air Medal, the Mexican Interior Campaign Medal, the World War I Victory Medal with three battle stars, the American Defense Service Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with six battle stars, the World War II Victory Medal, the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire, the Belgian Order of the Crown with palms, the Belgian Croix de Guerre with palm, the French Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor, the French Croix de Guerre with palm, the Polish Commander's Cross with Star (Krzyz Komandorski z Gwiazdą) of the Order of Polonia Restituta, the Dutch Grand Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau, the Norwegian Grand Cross of the Order of St. Olaf, and the Soviet Union's Order of Suvorov 2d Class. He was a rated command pilot as well as a command observer. After his military retirement, he worked for Newsweek magazine as military affairs editor until 1961. He also served on the Committee of Senior Advisors to the Air Force Chief of Staff, from 1952 until his death and from 1948 until 1959, he served as Civil Air Patrol's National Commander. In 1954 he was appointed to the congressional advisory board set up to determine the site for the new United States Air Force Academy. He died in Washington DC at the age of 83. The Civil Air Patrol's highest cadet award is the General Carl A. Spaatz Award. The Outstanding Air Refueling Squadron in the US Air Force is annually awarded the Gen Carl A. Spaatz trophy. He was the exemplar for the United States Air Force Academy's Class of 2006. (bio by: William Bjornstad) 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Charles Busch Spatz (1865 - 1929)
  Anna Amelia Muntz Spatz (1867 - 1947)
 
 Spouse:
  Ruth Harrison Spaatz (1896 - 1989)*
 
 Children:
  Rebecca Spaatz Nagel (1923 - 2001)*
 
 Siblings:
  Carl Andrew Spaatz (1891 - 1974)
  Ruth Spatz Steinmuller (1892 - 1952)*
  Frederick William Spatz (1898 - 1961)*
  Anne Spatz Leaver (1905 - 1989)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
United States Air Force Academy Cemetery
Colorado Springs
El Paso County
Colorado, USA
Plot: 3d78
GPS (lat/lon): 39.0092, -104.51318
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jun 03, 2000
Find A Grave Memorial# 9656
GEN Carl Andrew Spaatz
Added by: Ron Moody
 
GEN Carl Andrew Spaatz
Added by: Soorus
 
GEN Carl Andrew Spaatz
Added by: David N. Lotz
 
There is 1 more photo not showing...
Click here to view all images...
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.


- sjm
 Added: Jul. 14, 2016

- bob tarte
 Added: Jul. 14, 2016

- Bunny
 Added: Jun. 28, 2016
There are 72 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
Do you have a photo to add? Click here
How famous was this person?
Current ranking for this person: (4.2 after 46 votes)
 

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service