Fallen Warrior: Gen. Hoyt Vandenberg

  • Published
  • By 81st Training Wing Public Affairs
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

For our Fallen Warrior commemoration this week, we remember retired Gen. Hoyt Vandenberg, former Chief of Staff of the Air Force.

Vandenberg was born in Milwaukee Wisconsin in 1899. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy June 12, 1923, where he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Service.

Vandenberg’s first assignment was with the 90th Attack Squadron, 3rd Attack Group, at Kelly Field. He was appointed commander of the 90th AS on January 1, 1926 and later became an instructor at the Air Corps Primary Flying School at March Field, California. 

In June 1942, Vandenberg was assigned to the United Kingdom and assisted in the organization of the Air Forces in North Africa. While in Great Britain, he was appointed the chief of staff of the Twelfth Air Force, which he helped organize.

Later during World War II, Vandenberg was the commanding general of the Ninth Air Force, a tactical air force in England and in France, supporting the Army, from August 1944 until V-E Day.

Vandenberg retired from active duty as Chief of Staff of the Air Force on June 30, 1953, at the age of 55. Shortly after retirement, Vandenberg passed away nine months later to prostate cancer.

Vandenberg Commons, named in his honor, is a community area that provides recreational and leisure activities located on Keesler. 


Editor's note: The Fallen Warrior series highlights Fallen Warriors who exemplify our core values and paid the ultimate sacrifice. Take a moment to honor this week’s hero.