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Francis W. Nye
Born June 28, 1918(1918-06-28) (age 103)
Place of birth Barton, Vermont
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Air Force
Years of service 1941 - 1972
Rank Major General
Commands held

Francis Walter Nye (born June 29, 1918)[1] was a United States Air Force major general who was a B-24 Liberator and B-29 Superfortress combat pilot. He was commander, Field Command, Defense Atomic Support Agency, Sandia Base, N.M.

Nye graduated from Barton Academy (Vermont) (1936) and the University of Vermont (BSc, 1941) and, in February 1942, completed flying training and was commissioned a second lieutenant. Through April 1943, he flew 36 missions with the 98th Bombardment Group from bases in Palestine, Egypt, and North Africa. Nye returned to the United States in April 1943 and, in September, entered the B-29 aircraft program first as an acceptance test pilot at the Boeing plant in Wichita, Kansas. Nye's crew was formed at Salina, Kansas, and assigned B-29 serial # 42–6232 in April 1944. This aircraft was named “Kickapoo II.” Capt. Nye had finished a tour of duty previously with 36 missions in a B-24's named “Kickapoo” in the Mediterranean Theater. Nye was Aircraft Commander of an original crew that departed from Salina, KS on April 4, 1944 for Kharagpur, India, and was one of the first to leave Salina, and arrive at Kharagpur, India, with stops in Presque Isle, ME; Marrakech, Morocco; Cairo, Egypt; and Karachi, India.

This crew flew several “operational” over-the-hump missions to Pengshan (A-7), the forward base in China. This crew flew the first mission by B-29's to Bangkok, Thailand from Kharagpur, India (June 5, 1944), and the first mission from Pengshan, China (A-7) to Yawata, Japan (June 15, 1944). On June 20, 1944, Nye was ordered to the 468th Bomb Group as Asst. S-3 (Deputy Group Operations Officer). In August 1944, Nye flew the longest B-29 mission (over 4,000 miles) in World War II by any type of aircraft to Palembang, Sumatra from a forward base at China Bay, Ceylon. Capt. Nye flew this mission while substituting for a pilot who had become ill. Nye flew 11 combat missions with the 468th Bombardment Group in the China-Burma-India Theater. In May 1945 he went with the 468 BG to Tinian Island and then to Roswell, New Mexico. Nye finished World War II on Tinian as Group Operations Office (S-3). After duty beginning in September 1946 as an Reserve Officers Training Corps professor of air science and tactics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Nye flew 19 Korean War combat missions with the 22d Bombardment Wing. Following an assignment to SAC Headquarters in May 1953 and attending the Air War College (July 1956-June 1957), Nye became a commander of various military organizations. He also served as chairman of the Rated Personnel Requirements and Allocations Committee at the Pentagon and was appointed deputy director for plans and policy in the Directorate of Plans in August 1968. In November 1968, he was appointed chairman of the U.S. delegation of the Inter-American Defense Board, the Joint Brazil-U.S. Defense Commission, and the U.S. section, Joint Mexican-U.S. Defense Commission. In July 1969 General Nye became deputy director of plans.[Clarification needed]

In Nye was assigned as commander, Field Command, Defense Atomic Support Agency, Sandia Base, N.M.

He is married to Maureen.

Awards and decorations[edit | edit source]

His military decorations included the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Distinguished Unit Citation Emblem with three oak leaf clusters, and Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Ribbon.

References[edit | edit source]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document "[1]".

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