White, Thomas D. (Thomas Dresser), 1901-1965Variant names
Thomas Dresser White (b. Aug. 6, 1901, Walker, Minn.-d. Dec. 22, 1965), U.S. Air Force officer, received his commission in the infantry in 1920. He studied the Chinese language in China from 1927 to 1931, and served as assistant military attaché for air in Moscow and Rome from 1934 to 1937 and military attaché in Brazil from 1940 to 1942. During World War II he served as assistant chief of staff, then chief of staff, 3rd Air Force; assistant chief of staff for intelligence at Army Air Force HQ; deputy commander, 13th Air Force; and commanding general, 7th Air Force. After the War his assignments included commanding general, 5th Air Force; director of plans, then deputy chief of staff for plans, U.S. Air Force; and vice chief, then chief of staff, U.S. Air Force, until his retirement in 1961.
From the description of White, Thomas D. (Thomas Dresser), 1901-1965 (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration). naId: 10575066
Air Force officer.
From the description of Papers of Thomas D. White, 1952-1961 (bulk 1957-1961) (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 81549169
1901, Aug. 6:
Born, Walker Minn.
B.S., United States Military Academy, West Point, N.Y.
1920- 1953: Commissioned second lieutenant of infantry and advanced through the grades to general
1924- 1925: Student, Primary and Advanced Flying Schools, U.S. Air Force
1927- 1928: Student, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
1927- 1931: Language officer, Peking China
Acting military attaché, American Embassy, Moscow, USSR
1935- 1937: Assistant military attaché for air, Rome, Italy, and Athens, Greece
1937- 1938: Student, Air Corps Tactical School
Married Constance M. Rowe
1938- 1939: Student, Command and General Staff School
1939- 1941: Chief, Intelligence Section, Air Corps
1940- 1942: Military attaché, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and chief, Military Mission to Brazil
Chief of staff, Third Air Force
Assistant chief to air staff, intelligence
Deputy commander, Thirteenth Air Force, commanding general, Seventh Air Force
Chief of staff, Far East Air Forces
1948- 1951: Director of legislation, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force
1951- 1953: Deputy chief of staff, Operations, U.S. Air Force
1953- 1957: Vice chief of staff, U.S. Air Force
1957- 1961: Chief of staff, U.S. Air Force
1965, Dec. 22:
Died, Washington, D.C.
From the guide to the Thomas D. White Papers, 1952-1961, (bulk 1957-1961), (Manuscript Division Library of Congress)
Thomas D. White (1901-1965) was an American Air Force officer and Air Force Chief of Staff, 1957-1961. He retired from the military in 1961 with the rank of General.
Born at Walker, Minnesota, August 6, 190, he graduated from St. John's Military Academy, Delafield, Wisconsin, and received an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. After graduation from the Academy in 1920, he entered the Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia, and in July, 1921, went to the Panama Canal Zone for duty with the 14th Infantry.
Returning to the United States in September, 1924, he entered the Air Service Primary Flying School at Brooks Field, Texas. Upon completion of the course, he transferred to the Air Service Advanced Flying School at Kelly Field, Texas, from which he was graduated in September, 1925. He then joined the 99th Observation Squadron at Bolling Field, Washington, D.C.
In March, 1927, he transferred from the Infantry to the Air Corps and was assigned to the Military Attaches' office in Peking, China. He returned to his duties at Bolling in March, 1931, and was assigned to Moscow, Russia, as Assistant Military Attache. A year later, he became Assistant Military Attache to Italy and Greece.
White returned to the United States in May, 1937, to enter the Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwell Field, Alabama, and upon graduation in September, 1938, entered the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Following completion of the course in June, 1939 he was assigned to the office of the Chief of Air Corps in Washington.
In April, 1940, he became Military Attache at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and the following August was named Chief of the U.S. Military Air Mission to Brazil. It was during this time that General White developed his interest in ichthyological research.
Returning to the United States in March, 1942, he became Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations of the Third Air Force and subsequently was appointed Chief of Staff. In January, 1944, he was named Assistant Chief of Air Staff for Intelligence at American Air Force headquarters in Washington.
In September, 1944, White was assigned to the South Pacific as Deputy Commander of the 13th Air Force. In this capacity he served in the New Guinea and Southern Philippines campaigns, and participated in the assaults in Palawan, Zamboanga, in the Philippines, and Tarakan, Borneo. During the latter operation he was temporarily in command of the 13th Air Force.
In June 1945, as commanding general of the Seventh Air Force, General White established it as a component of General George C. Kenney's Far East Air Forces. The Seventh, then on Okinawa, engaged in the air assault on Japan and was charged, in addition, with the air defense of the Ryukyus. General White was transferred with the Seventh Air Force to the Hawaiian Islands, in January, 1946, and the following October was appointed Chief of Staff of the Pacific Air Command in Tokyo, Japan, which was redesignated the Far East Air Forces in January, 1947.
In January, 1948, White became Commanding General of the Fifth Air Force in Japan, and the following October he returned to the United States to become director of Legislation and Liaison in the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force. General White contributed greatly to the Air Force programs by defending before Congress the position of the Air Force during this period. His success on this assignment was due in a great measure to the various diplomatic and political friendships gained throughout his numerous tours of duty abroad and in Washington.
In May, 1950, White was appointed Air Force member of the Joint Strategic Survey Committee in the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In November, he became Special Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations, Air Force Headquarters. The following February he was appointed Director of Plans Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations. In July, 1951, General White was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations.
General White received his four-star commission in 1953, and was assigned to duty as Vice Chief of Staff, USAF, Pentagon. He continued in this assignment until 1957, at which time he was appointed Chief of Staff, USAF, by President Eisenhower.
In 1961, General White retired from the Air Force, but he continued as a military analyst and became a member of the boards of directors for various corporations, such as Eastern Air Lines, and Aeronca Manufacturing Corporation. He was also a member of the General Advisory Committee of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and a contributing editor of Newsweek magazine.
General White was married to the former Constance Rowe. He died in December, 1965.
From the guide to the Thomas D. White Papers, 1945-1961, (Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries)
|referencedIn||Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATION OF JOHN F. KENNEDY||National Archives at College Park|
|referencedIn||Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer. 1860 - 1985. Motion Picture Films from the Army Library Copy Collection. 1964 - 1980. Presentation of medal to White House plane crew, [etc.]||National Archives at College Park|
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|Aeronautics, Military--United States|