Archie J. Old, Jr.

Infobox Military Person
name=Archie J. Old, Jr.
born= 1906
died= March 24, death year and age|1984|1906

caption=Lieutenant General Archie J. Old, Jr.
nickname=General Old
placeofbirth=Farmersville, Texas
placeofdeath=San Diego, California
allegiance=flag|United States of America
branch= air force|United States
rank= Lieutenant General
battles=World War II

Archie J. Old, Jr. (1906 – March 24, 1984) was a General during World War II and a command Air Force pilot.cite web|url=|title= Lieutenant General Archie J. Old Jr. biography|accessdate= 2008-06-18] cite web|url=|title= Lieutenant General Archie J. Old Jr.|accessdate= 2008-06-18]

Early life

Old was born at Farmersville, Texas in 1906. Here he grew up and went to the normal childhood schools and graduated from high school. Old then studied civil engineering at Trinity University and at the University of Texas.

Old enlisted as a private in the Texas National Guard on April 16, 1930. He then attended aviation cadet training in the United States Army Air Corps. Appointed a flying cadet in February 1931, he completed his flying training at Brooks and Kelly fields in Texas.

Old was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Air Reserve on February 26, 1932. He then was assigned to active duty with the 13th Attack Squadron at Fort Crockett, Texas. There he served until February 1933. Old for short periods during the following seven years was on active duty as a reserve officer.

Military career

On September 6, 1940 Old was ordered to extended active duty. At that time, he was assigned to the 52d Bombardment Squadron at MacDill Field in Florida. There he was an assistant armament and chemical officer.

In the following February he became operations officer of the 29th Bombardment Group. The group later moved to Gowen Field, Idaho, where he followed with them. Old assumed command of the 96th Bomb Group at Walla Walla, Washington, in September 1942. In January 1943 he moved his group to the European theater. In December 1943 Old became chief of the 45th Combat Bomber Wing.

Old returned to the United States in July 1945. There he was assigned to the Army Air Forces headquarters at Washington, D.C. In August he was transferred to Air Transport Command headquarters at Gravelly Point, Virginia. Later in December of the same year he became commanding general of the Southwest Pacific Wing of Air Transport Command. [ United States air transport command in Australia during WW2] ] In January 1946 he assumed additional duty as commanding general of the China Wing.

On June 1, 1948, Old became commanding general of the 530th Air Transport Wing of Military Transport Service at Fairfield-Suisun Air Force Base in California. In July of that year he was named commander of the Atlantic Division of MATS.

Old became acting commander of the Eighth Air Force at Carswell Air Force Base, Texas, in March 1950. In 1951 Old got two of SAC's important overseas jobs of commanding the 7th Air Division in England and the 5th Air Division in French Morocco. In February 1953 Old was assigned as director of operations for the Strategic Air Command. On August 22, 1955, Old assumed command of the Fifteenth Air Force. Old retired September 1, 1965. He died March 24, 1984 at the base hospital at March Air Force Base.cite journal
last=Washington Post
title=Deaths Elsewhere
journal=Washington Post
location=Washington, D.C.
year=Friday, March 30, 1984

World War II

During World War II Old flew 43 combat missions against Germany. He led the October 14, 1943 raid against a ball-bearing works at Schweinfurt, Germany. He was also the general commander of the 45th Combat Bomber Wing of the Eighth Air Force. Old flew the first shuttle bomb run from England to Russia in June 1944 and received the United States Army Distinguished Service Cross.

In response to headquarters directives about his flying combat missions Old is recorded as saying, "Every mission I make means that I'm that much more competent to advise the boys concerning their jobs. I'll go with them anywhere - Berlin, the Ruhr, and, more important, most of us will get back."

Commands held

* 1941 - 1942 Operations Officer, 29th Bombardment Group (Heavy), MacDill Field, Florida; from 25.06.1942, Gowen Field, Idaho; Commanding Officer of the 29th Bombardment Group (Heavy), Gowen Field, Idaho
* 1943 - 1944 Commanding Officer of the 96th Bombardment Group (Heavy), Pocatello, Idaho; from 00.01.43-00.03.1943, Pyote Army Air Base, Texas; from 00.05.1943, Great Saling, England; from 12.06.1943, Snetterton Heath, England; Commanding Officer of the 45th Combat Bombardment Wing (Heavy), Snetterton Heath, England; Chief of Staff of the 45th Combat Bombardment Wing (Heavy), Snetterton Heath, England
* 1944 - 1945 Commanding Officer, later Commanding General of the 45th Combat Bombardment Wing (Heavy), Snetterton Heath, England
* 1945 - 1946 Commanding General of the 20th Combat Bombardment Wing (Heavy), Snetterton Heath, England; Commanding General of the Southwest Pacific Wing, Pacific Division, Air Transport Command, Manila, Philippines
* 1946 - 1948 Commanding General of the Philippine Base Wing, Pacific Division, Air Transport Command, Manila, Philippines; Commanding General of the West Coast Wing, Pacific Division, Air Transport Command, Fairfield-Suisun Field, California; Deputy Commanding General of the Pacific Division, Air Transport Command; Commanding General of the Eastern Pacific Wing, Pacific Division, Air Transport Command
* 1948 - 1950 Commanding General of the Atlantic Division, Air Transport Service, Westover AFB, Massachusetts
* 1950 - 1951 Deputy Commander of the Eighth Air Force, Carswell AFB, Texas; Acting Commanding General of the Eighth Air Force, Carswell AFB, Texas; Temporary duty as Commanding General of the 7th Air Division, South Ruislip, England; Temporary duty as Commanding General of the 5th Air Division, Rabat, French Morocco
* 1951 - 1953 Commanding General of the 5th Air Division, Rabat, French Morocco
* 1953 - 1955 Director of Operations, Strategic Air Command, Offutt AFB, Nebraska
* 1955 - 1965 Commander of the Fifteenth Air Force, March AFB, California
* 1965 Retired

Other achievements

Olds was the leading commander of the first non-stop round-the-world jet flight. [ [ World News 1956-62] ] This was done with three heavy bombers in January 1957. cite web|url=|title= Events of 1957|accessdate= 2008-06-18] cite web|url=|title= Beyond the wild blue: A History of the U.S. Air Force, 1947-1997|accessdate= 2008-06-18] Anzovin, p. 31, item # 1384] The jet aircraft were refueled in flight by aerial tankers. Each eight engine jet carried a crew of nine. The route was via Newfoundland, French Morocco, Saudi Arabia, India, Ceylon, Philippines, and Guam. This historic project was given to Fifteenth Air Force by the Strategic Air Command headquarters. It was known as Operation Power Flite.cite web|url=|title= Aviation History Facts|accessdate= 2008-06-18]

General Old flew the lead jet airplane out of the 93d Bombardment Wing at Castle Air Force Base in California. Old took off from there on January 16, 1957. He circled the globe non-stop in a Boeing B-52 Stratofortress jet and completed the trip on January 18. He landed at March Air Force Base in California some 45 hours and 19 minutes later. The total distance was 24,325 miles. The average speed was 525 miles per hour. cite web|url=|title= Famous Firsts in Aviation|accessdate= 2008-06-18]

Old told reporters that the flight was "merely a routine SAC mission. The planning and preparation that went into the aerial circumnavigation were identical to what was demanded every day in the Fifteenth Air Force and the Strategic Air Command."

Military awards

* with oak leaf cluster
* with eight oak leaf clusters
* with four oak leaf clusters

Foreign decorations

*French Legion of Honor
* Belgian Croix with Palm
*Russian Order of Suvorov
*French Croix de Guerre with Palm
*British Distinguished Flying Cross
* French Moroccan Order of Ouissam Alouite Cherifien


* Anzovin, Steven, "Famous First Facts", H. W. Wilson Company, New York 2000, ISBN 0-8242-0958-3
*USGovernment|sourceURL= [cite web|url = |title = Biographies : Lieutenant General Archie J. Old Jr |accessdate = 2008-06-24]
*USGovernment|sourceURL= [cite web|url = |title = Lieutenant General Archie J. Old Jr |accessdate = 2008-06-24]


NAME = Archie J. Old, Jr.
SHORT DESCRIPTION = United States Air Force pilot
DATE OF BIRTH = 24 July, 1906
PLACE OF BIRTH = Farmersville, Texas
DATE OF DEATH = 24 March, 1984
PLACE OF DEATH = San Diego, California

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