Spruance, William

State: DE

Units: HQ DE Air National Guard


Years Of Service:

Princeton ROTC ’39. 2d Lt Field Artillery, forward observer, on maneuvers with 44th Div. NJ Army Guard’39&’40. (omitting 5yrs WWII non-Guard duty; part in Army with Gen Patton flying our privately owned airplanes, and later 362 missions in CBI, Army Air Corps ’43A) ’46. Founding Member, DE Air National Guard, taking a bust from major to captain, to command 208th Weather Det. Acting Operations Officer, 142nd Ftr. Sqdn.;Cmdr., 142nd Utility Flight, (flying aircraft types:L1, L5, C45, C47,B26);Cmdr., Hq DE ANG, which was not activated when the 142nd went to Korea; so took a voluntary tour in the Pentagon (helping to abolish the Continental Air Command)). Commanded the replacement training unit to rebuild the 142nd after Korea deactivation. Appointed Chief of Staff DE ANG with State rank of Brig. Gen. and Federal Recognition as a Colonel (laughingly called “Bird-General”). As Asst. AG for Air, received Federal Recognition as Brig. Gen. 8/1/55, the earliest date of rank of living retired ANG Brig. Generals. On 6/4/61 survived a near fatal crash in a T-33, in which Lt Col David F. McCallister, Cmdr, 142nd Ftr Sqdn was killed. Thanks to Air Force miracle medicine men, survived 30% third degree burns with a VA disability rated at 200%, and became the only Air National Guard officer granted a waiver to remain on Guard status. After 1962 has given over 2,000 talks to over 200,000 people, saving many lives on Crash Survival. The trips include three to Vietnam, one of which covered 58 bases in 60 days with 100 presentations to over 10,000 people, for which he received the first Air Force Distinguished Service Medal ever given to other than a regular officer. Has served the National Guard Association for over half a century, including its Executive Council, now called its Board) and currently is a Member of the Board of the National Guard Insurance Trust and the National Guard Educational Foundation. For more information and to view his Crash Survival talk and maybe save your life, go to his Web site GenSpruance.com.