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U.S. Air Force Major General Gordon E. Williams


“I did drive General Gordon Williams to an F-16 on the Bentwaters tarmac the AM of December 30th. He had two canisters of 35mm footage with him. …He told me directly that it was actual footage of the UFOs on the ground.” – Mike Verrano, RAF Bentwaters Capt. and Day Shift Commander, December 1980

Major General Gordon E. Williams was director for plans and policy, J-5, Headquarters U.S. European Command, Stuttgart-Vaihingen, West Germany.

General Williams was born in 1935, in Nashua, N.H., and graduated from Alvirne High School, Hudson, N.H., in 1953. He earned a bachelor of science degree in general engineering from the U.S. Military Academy in 1957 and a master of science degree in systems management from the University of Southern California in 1971. He completed Air Command and Staff College in 1969, National War College in 1975 and Harvard University's executive program on national and international security in 1983.

He entered pilot training in August 1957 and received his wings at Laredo Air Force Base, Texas, in September 1958. After gunnery training at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., and Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., he was assigned to the 510th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Clark Air Base, Philippines, in September 1959, flying F-100s. The general subsequently was assigned to the 612th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 401st Tactical Fighter Wing, England Air Force Base, La. He represented the wing at William Tell 1962, the worldwide tactical gunnery meet. During this assignment, General Williams also attended the Air Force Fighter Weapons School at Nellis Air Force Base and Airborne School at Fort Benning, Ga.

Selected for exchange duty with the U.S. Navy in 1964, General Williams flew an F-4 combat tour of duty in Southeast Asia from the carrier USS Ranger. He then was assigned to the initial Air Force contingent in combat evaluation of the A-7 with the Navy, again from the USS Ranger. In May 1968 he transferred to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., as Tactical Air Command project officer for A-7D testing.

In February 1971 he was assigned to the Tactical Fighter Division, Directorate of Operational Requirements, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. He culminated this tour of duty as chief, Advanced Systems Branch, with requirements responsibilities for a broad range of new tactical fighters, including F-15s, F-16s and A-10s.

General Williams graduated from the National War College in 1975 and then was assigned as commander, The United States Logistics Group, Detachment 118, Izmir, Turkey. He served as the deputy commander for operations, 406th Tactical Fighter Training Wing, Zaragoza Air Base, Spain, from July 1976 to September 1977. He then transferred to the 81st Tactical Fighter Wing, Royal Air Force Station Bentwaters, England, as vice commander. He became commander of the wing in August 1979. In May 1981 he moved to Ramstein Air Base, West Germany, as inspector general, U.S. Air Forces in Europe.

Upon returning to the United States in September 1982, General Williams was assigned as director of aerospace safety, Air Force Inspection and Safety Center, Norton Air Force Base, Calif. In July 1984 he became center commander. In June 1985 he became commander of the 13th Air Force, Pacific Air Forces, Clark Air Base. In March 1987 he was assigned as assistant deputy chief of staff for programs and resources at Air Force headquarters. He assumed his present position in May 1987.

The general has more than 4,000 flying hours and has flown numerous aircraft, including F-100s, F-4s, A-7s, A-10s and F-15s. His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with 15 oak leaf clusters, and Navy Commendation Medal with "V" device and three service stars.

He was promoted to Major General Sept. 1, 1984, with date of rank March 1, 1981.

Maj Gen Williams gravesite in Arlington National Cemetery

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