28 June 1965 – U.S. forces launch the first major offensive in the Vietnam War. “In the first major offensive ordered for U.S. forces, 3,000...Read More
Wilfred Leon Goodson
Brigadier General Wilfred L. Goodson’s final USAF assignment was as the assistant chief of staff, studies and analyses and commander of the Air Force Center for Studies and Analyses, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, DC.
“General Goodson was born in 1939, in McAlester, Okla., and graduated from McAlester High School in 1956. He received a bachelor of science degree in basic sciences and engineering sciences, and was commissioned a second lieutenant following graduation from the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo., in 1960. An Olmstead Scholar, he began his study at the Defense Language School, Washington, D.C., in February 1964, and in September of that year moved to Germany and entered the University of Heidelberg where he received his doctorate in theoretical astrophysics in 1966. He graduated from the National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C., in 1975.
Entering active duty in August 1960, General Goodson attended primary pilot training at Moore Air Base, Texas, and basic pilot training at Vance Air Force Base, Okla. From September 1961 to September 1962, he completed F-100 gunnery training at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., and Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. In October 1962 he transferred to Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, S.C., for duty as an F-100 pilot with the 355th Tactical Fighter Squadron and while there was selected for the Olmstead Scholar program.
Upon conclusion of his studies in January 1967, he transferred to Headquarters 7th Air Force, Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Republic of Vietnam, as duty controller at the Tactical Air Control Center. The following June he moved to Bien Hoa Air Base with the 90th Tactical Fighter Squadron and flew 128 combat missions in F-100s.
In January 1968 General Goodson was assigned to Air Force headquarters, where he served as operations research scientist, Office of Assistant Chief of Staff for Studies and Analysis. He began his association with F-111 tactical fighters at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, in May 1972. He served initially as an F-111 fighter pilot with the 391st Tactical Fighter Squadron and then as operations officer for the 390th Tactical Fighter Squadron.
Following graduation from the National War College in July 1975, General Goodson was appointed assistant deputy commander for operations with the 27th Tactical Fighter Wing, Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. In August 1976 he became the wing’s deputy commander for operations.
He served as assistant to the commander of Tactical Air Command at Langley Air Force Base, Va., from August 1977 to August 1979. In September 1979 he returned to Air Force headquarters as assistant deputy director for force capability integration within the Directorate of Plans, and, in September 1980, he become the assistant deputy director for force development. He was assigned as commander of the 401st Tactical Fighter Wing, Torrejon Air Base, Spain, from May 1981 to January 1982 when he moved to Hahn Air Base, Germany, as commander of the 50th Tactical Fighter Wing. In October 1982 he became deputy chief of staff for plans, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Ramstein Air Base, Germany. He assumed his present position in September 1983.
The general is a senior pilot with 2,500 flying hours. His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with six oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal and Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with palm.
He was promoted to brigadier general Nov. 1, 1982, with date of rank Oct. 1, 1982.” (1)
- 1960 Entered active duty
- 1960 Primary pilot training, Moore AB, TX
- Basic pilot training, Vance AFB, OK
- 9/1961-9/1962 F-100 gunnery training, Luke AFB, AZ/Nellis AFB, NV (F-100)
- 10/1962-1964 355th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Myrtle Beach AFB, SC
- Olmstead Scholar Program
- 1/1967 HQ 7th Air Force, duty controller at the Tactical Air Control Center, Tan Son Nhut AB, Republic of Vietnam
- 6/1967 90th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Bien Hoa AB, Vietnam (F-100 – 128 missions)
- 1/1968 HQ USAF, operations research scientist, Office of Assistant Chief of Staff for Studies and Analysis
- 5/1972 391st Tactical Fighter Squadron, Mountain Home AFB, ID (F-111)
- 390th Tactical Fighter Squadron, operations officer, Mountain Home AFB, ID
- 7/1975 National War College
- 27th Tactical Fighter Wing, Assistant deputy commander, Cannon Air Force Base, NM
- 8/1976 27th Tactical Fighter Wing, Deputy commander for operations, Cannon AFB, NM
- 8/1977 – 8/1979 Tactical Air Command, Commander, Langley Air Force Base, VA
- 9/1979 HQ, USAF, Assistant deputy director for force capability integration within the Directorate of Plans
- 9/1980 HQ USAF, Assistant deputy director for force development
- 5/1981-1/1982 401st Tactical Fighter Wing, Torrejon AB, Spain
- 1/1982 50th Tactical Fighter Wing, Commander, Hahn Air Base, Germany
- 10/1982 Deputy chief of staff for plans, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Ramstein Air Base, Germany.
- 9/1983 HQ USAF, Assistant chief of staff, studies and analyses and commander of the Air Force Center for Studies and Analyses, Washington, DC
Awards & Decorations
Legion of Merit
Distinguished Flying Cross
Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster
Air Medal with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal
Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm
Flight Hours: 2,500
Military & Civilian Education
- US Air Force Academy
- 1975 National War College
- 1956 McAlester High School
- 1960 BS/Engineering Sciences, USAFA
- 1966 PhD/Astrophysics, University of Heidelberg