Walter Campbell Sweeney Jr.

Walter Campbell Sweeney Jr.

Wheeling, Ohio County, West Virginia, USA
Death 22 Dec 1965 (aged 56)
Homestead, Miami-Dade County, Florida, USA
Burial Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
Plot Sec: 30, Site: 203-1
Memorial ID 49488884 · View Source
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US Air Force General. Born in Wheeling, West Virginia, he was appointed to The US Military Academy at West Point, New York, after completing high school, graduating as a second lieutenant in the infantry in June 1930. After four years he decided to become a pilot and in October 1934, he entered primary flying school at Randolph Field (now Randolph Air Force Base), Texas. After graduating from Advanced Flying School in October 1935 at Kelly Field (now Kelly Air Force Base), Texas, he was assigned to the 8th Attack Squadron of the 3rd Attack Group at Barksdale Field (now Barksdale Air Force Base), Louisiana. He then joined the 5th Bomb Group in Hawaii in June 1939, and later transferred to the 11th Bomb Group as the commander of the 431st Bomb Squadron. After the outbreak of World War II, he commanded an Army Air Force Task Group during the Battle of Midway in June 1942. In July 1942, he was transferred to the War Department General Staff in Washington DC, where he performed duties as the air officer for the Theater Group, Operations Division. In July 1944, he was assigned to the 73rd Bomb Wing and moved with this unit from Colorado Springs, Colorado, to the Pacific area, where he served as chief of staff and later as deputy commander. While stationed in the Marianas, he participated in the first unprecedented low-level attack with B-29 Superfortress aircraft against enemy Japanese forces. On a subsequent mission, he lost his aircraft, paddled ashore in a life raft, eventually making his way back to his island base. In July 1945, he became the director of plans and the Strategic Air Force, Pacific Ocean Area, Guam. After the conclusion of World War II, he served as a member of the Joint War Plans Committee for the Army Air Force in Washington DC, until July 1946 when he became an instructor at the National War College. In October 1947, he was assigned to the Office of Assistant Secretary of the Air Force and a year later he was named the director of plans for Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. In April 1953, he became the commander of 15th Air Force at March Air Force Base (now March Air Reserve Base), California. While stationed there in June 1954, he led a trio of B-47 Stratojet aircraft in the US Air Force's first non-stop flight of jet bombers across the Pacific Ocean. From August 1955 until September 1961, he was the commander of 8th Air Force at Westover Air Force Base (now Westover Air Reserve Base), Massachusetts. In October 1961, he was promoted to the rank of general and became the commander in chief of Tactical Air Command (now Air Combat Command), Langley Air Force Base, Virginia. He retired from the Air Force on August 1, 1965, with 35 years of active Army and Air Force military service and was a rated command pilot. Among his awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Air Medal. He died of cancer at Homestead Air Force Base (now Air Reserve Base), Florida.

Bio by: William Bjornstad

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: John C. Anderson
  • Added: 9 Mar 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 49488884
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Walter Campbell Sweeney Jr. (23 Jul 1909–22 Dec 1965), Find a Grave Memorial no. 49488884, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .