Maj. Wendell Bevan - 419th Squadron
BRIGADIER GENERAL WENDELL L. BEVAN JR.
Retired Sep. 1, 1974.
Brig. Gen. Wendell L. Bevan, Jr., is chief, Requirements and Development Division, J-5, Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C.
General Bevan was born in Lawton, Okla., in 1920. He graduated from Wyoming Seminary High School in Kingston, Pa., attended the University of Oklahoma for one year, and studied at Millard's West Point Preparatory School in Washington, D.C., prior to entering the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y. He entered flying school at Oklahoma City, received basic training at Randolph Field, Texas, and received his pilot wings upon completion of advanced training at Ellington Field, Texas, in December 1942. He graduated from the Military Academy with the class of January 1943 and received his commission as a second lieutenant.
General Bevan next completed B-26 transition school at Del Rio, Texas, and was assigned as a B-26 aircraft pilot at MacDill Field, Fla., until August 1943. He then attended transition school at Lockbourne Army Air Base, Ohio, to qualify as a B-17 pilot and served as instructor pilot. In August 1944 he joined the 301st Bombardment Group of the Fifteenth Air Force in Italy and became commander of the 32nd Bombardment Squadron and later the 419th Bombardment Squadron. During his tour of duty in Italy, he accumulated 230 combat flying hours in 30 missions and flew successively as a squadron, group, wing and Air Force leader.
At the end of the war in Europe in June 1945 he was assigned as a B-29 pilot at MacDill Field, Fla., and in November 1945 as base operations officer at Mitchel Field, N.Y. He entered the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kans., in February 1946.
In June 1946 General Bevan was assigned to the War Department General Staff in the G-3 Division in Washington, D.C. When the Air Force became a separate military organization he was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force as chief of the Air Rescue Branch, Operational Requirements Division, Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations. In February 1950 he was assigned as assistant air attache for Central America, with residence in Guatemala City, Guatemala.
General Bevan was assigned to the Air Proving Ground Command at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., in June 1951 as commander of the 3201st Base Flight Squadron. He subsequently served as executive officer, deputy commander and commander of the 3201st Air Base Group. In August 1955 he entered the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.; and upon completion of the course, he remained at the school as a member of the faculty, serving as an instructor and later as chief of the Academic Plans Division.
General Bevan returned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force in July 1959 where he served in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Personnel as assistant chief of promotion policy, then became chief of the Weapons Systems Branch, Technical Training Division, and in 1962 was appointed chief of the Technical Training Division.
In July 1963 General Bevan went to Royal Air Force Station Alconbury, England, as vice commander of the 10th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing which became the first U.S. Air Force wing to convert to and attain operational status in the RF-4C aircraft. In June 1966 he returned to the United States and was assigned as vice commander, 75th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, at Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas.
He assumed command of the 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, in November 1966. The 67th Wing was the first in the Tactical Air Command to train RF-4C replacement air crews for Southeast Asia; the first NATO dual based tactical reconnaissance and fighter squadrons were assigned to the wing; and the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award was presented for the period covering General Bevan's command.
In August 1968 General Bevan departed for Southeast Asia and in September 1968 became commander of the 432nd Tactical Reconnaissance/Fighter Wing at Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand. The 432nd is the only combat tactical wing in the U.S. Air Force with both RF-4C and F-4D squadrons. During his tour of duty as wing commander, General Bevan flew 111 combat sorties, including 20 over North Vietnam, on both fighter and reconnaissance missions, and the 432nd Wing was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation. During June 1969 he was assigned as commander, Task Force Alpha at Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai Air Force Base He assumed duties in July 1969 as director of combat operations for Seventh Air Force at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Republic of Vietnam, and was primarily responsible for directing "out country" air operations.
General Bevan returned to the United States and in June 1970 was assigned to the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as chief, Requirements and Development Division, J-5.
He is a rated command pilot with more than 5,200 flying hours to his credit, including approximately 1,800 hours in jet aircraft. His military decorations include the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with three oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with eight oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, and Army Commendation Medal.
He was promoted to the temporary grade of brigadier general effective Aug. 1, 1969, with date of rank May 31, 1969.