Wess P. Chambers
Wess was born in Miami, Arizona, and later moved with his parents to Phoenix. After graduation from high school, he attended Whittier College in Whittier California for two years.
He then joined the Arizona Air National Guard and attended pilot training in the Air Force and was the distinguished graduate of his class. After completing pilot training he returned to Tucson and entered the University of Arizona.
In 1956 an Air National Guard unit was formed in Tucson.
Wess was hired full time as a Flying Training Instructor. During his time in the Tucson ANG he served as: Flight Commander, Squadron Operations Officer, Squadron Commander, Group Director of Operations, and finally Commander of the unit in October 1971.
In April of 1981 he was returned to active duty and assigned to the Pentagon as Deputy Director of the Air National Guard of the United States. Then in 1985 he was reassigned to Pacific Air Force Headquarters (PACAF) at Hickam AFB, Hawaii. His tour included Hawaii, Guam, Japan, Korea, and other areas where reserve forces would be sent in emergencies. He was with PACAF for two years until he was sent to Tactical Air Command Headquarters (TAC), Langley, Virginia as Special Assistant to the Commander. He remained in this position for three years until retirement.
After his retirement, Wess and his wife moved to Sonoita, AZ and he joined the fire department. He became Fire Chief in 1991.
- 7/1952-2/1953 Aviation Cadet Training (Distinguished Graduate), Commissioned 2LT, AZANG, James Connally AFB, TX
- 5/1953-5/1954 Advanced Pilot Training, Nellis AFB, NV (F-86)
- 5/1954 197th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, AZANG, Luke AFB, AZ (F-86)
- 1955 US Air Force officer and flight training
- 5/1956-7/1964 152nd Fighter-Interceptor Squadron (FIS), fighter pilot/assistant flight commander/flight commander/squadron operations officer /squadron commander/instrument training officer/scheduling officer/instructor pilot/Federal Aviation Agency liaison officer/ standardization and evaluation check pilot, AZANG, Tucson, AZ (F-86)
- 7/1964-6/1965 162nd Fighter Interceptor Group, AZANG, AZ
- 6/1965 USAF Command and Staff, Maxwell AFB, AL
- 6/1965-10/1971 162nd Fighter Interceptor Group, Operations staff officer/Group Deputy Commander for Operations, AZANG, AZ
- 10/1971-4/1981 162nd Fighter Interceptor Group, Commander, AZANG, AZ
- 4/1981-1985 Promoted to Brigadier General, Deputy Director, Air National Guard Bureau, Pentagon, Washington, DC
- 1985-1987 Promoted to Major General, Air National Guard Assistant to the Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Air Forces (PACAF), Honolulu, HI
- 1987 Air National Guard Assistant to the Commander-in-Chief of the Tactical Air Command (TAC), Langley AFB, VA
- 5/1990 Retired USAF
Awards & Decorations
Meritorious Service Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Ribbon with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters
Combat Readiness Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster
Good Conduct Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters
Armed Forces Reserve Medal with Hourglass Device
Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon
Arizona Long Service Medal
Arizona Exceptionally Long Service Medal
Command Pilot: 6,000+ hours
5,200 hours in “single engine” jet aircraft
Military & Civilian Education
- 1952 Aviation Cadet Training
- 1953 Advanced Pilot Training
- 1955 USAF Officer Training
- 1965 USAF Command and Staff College
- 1950 North Phoenix High School
- 1950-1953 Whittier College
- 1955-1957 University of Arizona
- 1967 BS/Political Science, George Washington University, DC