William P. Acker
William P. Acker was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1930 and graduated from high school in Greenville, South Carolina after attending Georgia Military College prep school in Milledgeville, Georgia for two years. In 1952 he received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Georgia and was commissioned a second lieutenant through the Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program. The General earned a master’s degree in management from Arizona State University in 1959. He completed the Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va., in 1967; Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, in 1971; and the Harvard University advanced management Program in 1973.
In June 1952 the General entered pilot training at Bartow Air Force Base, Florida. His first operational assignment was as an F-84 fighter pilot with the 310th Fighter-Bomber Squadron at Taegu Air Base, South Korea, in February 1954. He completed transition training for F-100s and served as a flight commander and instructor for the 4515th Combat Crew Training Squadron at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, from April 1957 until the end of 1960, when he moved to the 44th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa.
He transferred to MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, in January 1963 and was selected to be in the initial cadre of the Air Force F-4 program. When the unit moved to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, in August 1964, General Acker became a squadron operations officer and later director of operations and training for the 4453rd Combat Crew Training Wing. After completing the Armed Forces Staff College in September 1967, he moved to Southeast Asia as flight commander and operations officer with the 497th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand. While there he flew 100 missions over North Vietnam.
His next assignment was as chief of the Tactical Training and Standardization Branch at Headquarters United States Air Forces in Europe, Lindsey Air Station, Germany, from August 1968 to July 1969. The General then transferred to the 401st Tactical Fighter Wing at Torrejón Air Base, Spain, where he was assistant deputy commander for operations and assisted in the conversion from F-100s to F-4s.
In August 1970 he returned to the United States to enter the Air War College. Graduating in May 1971, he became chief of the Officer Management Division, Directorate of Personnel Resources, Air Force Military Personnel Center, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas. After completing Harvard University’s advanced management program in June 1973, General Acker was appointed vice commander of the 49th Tactical Fighter Wing, Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico
Returning to Thailand in March 1974, he assumed command of the 432d Tactical Reconnaissance Wing (redesignated 432nd Tactical Fighter Wing) at Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base. In this assignment, he commanded a wing with 6,000 people, four F-4 fighter squadrons, and one reconnaissance squadron. General Acker returned to the Air Force Military Personnel Center in April 1975 as vice commander.
From March 1976 to February 1978, he was deputy commanding general, U.S. Military Enlistment Processing Command, Fort Sheridan, Illinois. He then became commander of the U.S. Air Force Recruiting Service and deputy chief of staff, recruiting, Headquarters Air Training Command at Randolph Air Force Base. In March 1979 General Acker took command of the Air Force Military Training Center, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, and in July 1981 returned to Randolph Air Force Base, as vice commander of Air Training Command. Acker assumed command of the Third Air Force in 1983 before retiring in 1985.
Following his retirement from the Air Force, he served as the 19th President of Georgia Military College from 1985-1992.
William B. Acker – Headed West, July 24, 2018
Major General (Retired) William P. Acker San Antonio, Texas passed away the morning of July 24, 2018. He was a loving husband, father, brother, Eagle Scout and served his nation for 33 years as an Air Force officer.
General Bill Acker was born in Chattanooga, TN, on October 22, 1930, and lived in Greenville, SC until his college years. He attended Georgia Military College (GMC), the University of Georgia, and Arizona State University. In 1952, he was commissioned a second lieutenant through the Air Force (AF) Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program and served as an Air Force fighter pilot. He was assigned to five tours in San Antonio, TX, and was particularly proud to command the Air Force Recruiting Service at Randolph AFB and the Air Force Military Training Center, Lackland AFB. He retired as the commander of Third Air Force, in Suffolk, England.
The General was a command pilot with more than 5,000 flying hours, including 2 combat tours in Southeast Asia. His military decorations and awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, and Air Force Commendation Medal.
General Acker retired from active duty in July of 1985 and assumed the presidency of Georgia Military College. He is credited with expanding his alma mater with sports programs and off-campus learning opportunities at military installations. In 2017, General Acker was inducted as President Emeritus of Georgia Military College.
General Acker is survived by his wife of sixty-three years, the former Nadine Giles of Milledgeville, GA, and three grown children; Patricia A. Griffin, Kathryn M. Sessions, and William P. Acker Jr, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Obituary by Porter Loring Mortuaries
- 6/ 1952 Pilot Training, Bartow AFB, FL
- 2/1954-4/1957 Fighter-Bomber Squadron, Taegu AB, South Korea (F-84)
- 4/1957-12/1960 4515th Combat Crew Training Squadron, Flight Commander/IP, Luke AFB, AZ (F-100)
- 12/1960-1/1963 44th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Kadena AB, Okinawa, Japan (F-100)
- 1/1963-8/1964 F-4 Program, MacDill AFB, FL (F-4)
- 8/1964-9/1966 4453rd Combat Crew Training Wing, Squadron Operations Officer/Direction Operations & Training, Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ
- 9/1966-/9/1967 Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, VA
- 9/1967-8/1968 497th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Ubon Royal Thai AFB, Thailand (F-4 100 /missions)
- 8/1968-7/1969 Chief of the Tactical Training and Standardization Branch, Lindsey Air Station, Germany
- 7/1969-8/1970 401st Tactical Fighter Wing, Torrejón AB, Spain (F-100, F-4)
- 8/1970-5/1971 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, AL
- 5/1971-1972 Chief of the Officer Management Division, Directorate of Personnel Resources, Air Force Military Personnel Center, Randolph AFB, TX
- 1972-6/1973 Harvard University’s advanced management program
- 6/1973-3/1974 49th Tactical Fighter Wing, Vice commander, Holloman AFB, NM (F-4)
- 3/1974-4/1975 432nd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing (re-designated 432nd Tactical Fighter Wing), Commander, Udorn Royal Thai AFB, Thailand (F-4)
- 4/1975-3/1976 Air Force Military Personnel Center, vice commander, Randolph AFB, TX
- 3/1976-2/1978 U.S. Military Enlistment Processing Command, Deputy commanding general, Fort Sheridan, IL
- 2/1978-3/1979 U.S. Air Force Recruiting Service, Commander/Deputy chief of staff, recruiting, Headquarters Air Training Command, Randolph AFB, TX
- 3/1979-7/1981 Air Force Military Training Center, Commander, Lackland AFB, TX
- 7/1981-1983 Vice commander of Air Training Command, Randolph AFB,
- 1983-1985 Third Air Force, Commander
- 1985 Retired USAF
- 1985-1992 19th President of Georgia Military College
Awards & Decorations
Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion Of Merit
Distinguished Flying Cross
Meritorious Service Medal
Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster
Air Force Organizational Excellence Medal
Combat Readiness Medal
National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Vietnam Service Medal with 2 Bronze Stars
Air Force Longevity Service Medal with Silver & 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Small Arms Expert Marksmanship
Vietnam Gallantry Cross With Palm
United Nations Service Medal For Korea
Vietnam Campaign Medal
Rating: Command pilot
Flight hours: 5,000 hours
Military & Civilian Education
- 1948 Georgia Military College, Milledgeville, GA
- 1967 Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, VA
- 1971 Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL
- 1952 BA/Business Administration, University of Georgia (Commissioned 2nd LT Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps)
- 1959 MA/Management, Arizona State University
- 1973 Advanced Management, Harvard University