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 Paul Wesley Airey

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Paul Wesley Airey

  • Birth 13 Dec 1923 New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts, USA
  • Death 11 Mar 2009 Panama City, Bay County, Florida, USA
  • Burial Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
  • Plot Section 34, Site 594
  • Memorial ID 61113639

Military Pioneer. He was the first Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force. Raised in Massachusetts, he joined the US Army Air Corps in 1942 and was to serve in Europe as a B-24 gunner; shot down in 1944, he was held prisoner-of-war for a year. During the Korean War he served at Naha Air Base, Okinawa, and was awarded the Legion of Merit for developing a system to protect radios from corrosion. The next several years saw him hold a succession of postings as a first sergeant; on April 3, 1967, he was appointed the first Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, senior enlisted advisor to the Air Force Chief of Staff. Airey remained in the position until July 31, 1969, then retired in 1970. After leaving active duty he worked with a number of veteran's organizations before relocating to Florida where he died of heart failure complicated by cancer. His decorations include two Legions of Merit, two Air Medals, and the Prisoner of War Medal. The Paul W. Airey NCO Academy at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, carries his name.

Bio by: Bob Hufford

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
  • Added: 4 Nov 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 61113639
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Paul Wesley Airey (13 Dec 1923–11 Mar 2009), Find A Grave Memorial no. 61113639, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .