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Serving the Present... Remembering the Past...
Air Force Weather

 

MAJOR GENERAL JULIUS K. LACEY

Retired, Died July 15, 1992

Julius Kahn Lacey was born in Elizabethton, Tenn., in 1904. He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee with a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering.

Enlisting as a flying cadet in February 1929, General Lacey entered Primary Flying School at Brooks Field, Texas, graduated from Advanced Flying School at Kelly Field, Texas, in February 1930, and was appointed a second lieutenant in the Air Reserve. That May he received his Regular Army commission as a second lieutenant.

Ordered to Selfridge Field, Mich., General lacey served with the 17th Pursuit Squadron and later the 57th Service Squadron. Entering the Air Corps Technical School at Chanute Field, Ill., in August 1931, he graduated the following June and was assigned to the Fifth Observation Squadron at Mitchel Field, N.Y.

Detailed to Langley Field, Va., in January 1934, General lacey served with the Eastern Zone Army Air Corps air mail operations until that May when he returned to Mitchel Field for duty with the Ninth Observation Group. Entering Massachusetts Institute of Technology in September 1934, he graduated in June 1936 with a master's degree in meteorology, and was selected to go to Norway and Germany to study weather conditions and continued research on aircraft icing.

Returning to Langley Field that September, General Lacey became base meteorological officer. He proposed transferring the meteorological service from the Signal Corps, planned, formulated the organization, and put the new Weather Service into effect for the Air Corps. Becoming meteorological officer of the Second Wing in March 1937, three months later he assumed command of the Second Weather Squadron there and also regional control officer of the Second Weather Region. He graduated from a four-month course at the Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwell Field, Ala., in December 1939, and returned to his duties at Langley Field.

Selected in 1940 to survey port facilities and possible locations for air bases in Greenland, General Lacey assumed command of the Fourth Weather Region at Maxwell Field that December. The following August he was assigned to the Office of the Chief of Air Corps, and in January 1942 became deputy director of the Weather Service. He was sent to Europe in 1942 to analyze meteorological problems as they affected the Royal Air Force and U.S. bomber command. From January to June 1943 he was in command of the Provisional Group at the Boise Air Base, Idaho, and then assumed command of the 103rd Combat Wing at Walla Walla Air Base, Wash.

Going to England in the latter part of 1943, General Lacey commanded a flying fortress group of the Eighth Air Force for six months and then was given command of the 94th Combat Bomb wing there. In July 1945 he became deputy commander for operations and training of the second Air Force at Colorado Springs, Colo. Entering the National War College at Washington, D.C., in June 1946, he graduated a year later and was appointed commandant of the Air Tactical School, Tyndall Field, Fla.

Joining the Air Training Command in July 1950, General Lacy assumed command of Mather Air Force Base, Calif., and the 3535th Bomb Training Wing there. In February 1952 he was appointed combat crew training Air Force project officer at ATRC headquarters, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., and assumed command of the Crew Training Air Force, ATRC, at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, the following month.

Transferred to Far East Air Forces in October 1943, General Lacy became vice commander of the Fifth Air Force. He was named special assistant to the commander, FEAF, on May 5, 1954. On July 15, 1954 he was appointed J-3, Far East Command, FEAF, and on April 26, 1955 became deputy chief of staff, Plans, FEAF.

Returning to the United States in November 1955, General Lacey was appointed commandant, USAF Institute of Technology, Air University, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

His decorations include the Silver Star with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters, and the French Legion of Honor and Croix de Guerre with Palm.

(Up to date as of January 1956)

 

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