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Army and Navy Journal     693
    February 12, 1949
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AF Plans Non-Segregation Policy

Top officials of the United States Air Force have set 31 Dec. 1949 as a target date for the implementation of a sweeping personnel policy change which would eliminate segregation, is was learned this week.

The plan of the Air Force to terminate applicability of the Gillem Report to negro officer and enlisted personnel is expected to be aired in detail at the second meeting of the President's Commission on Equality of treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Forces. The next session of this Commission, under chairmanship of Mr. Charles Fahey, former Solicitor general, is tentatively scheduled for 17 and 18 Feb. in Washington.

An outline of the new Air Force policy was presented to members of the Commission at a recent initial meeting in Washington, attended by representatives of all the Armed Services.

It is reported authoritatively that the Air Force study, already approved by the ranking civilian and military officials, calls for a "100 per cent'' elimination of segregation. Imposition of a specific time date indicates that Air Force experts have spelled out the implementation and ramifications of the policy in explicit detail.

Reportedly of immediate major concern to the Air Force is the impending deactivation of the all-negro 332nd Fighter Wing, under command of Col. B. O. Davis, jr., son of a retired Army brigadier general. Beset by budget limitations, the Air Force is considering elimination of the negro wing as part of the cutback required in the 1950 budget. Air Force officials want to reassign it personnel throughout the various Air Force Commands, without regard to race.

Responsible sources indicate that the Air Force has prepared a detailed plan for the dispersion of its negro personnel and presumably the Fahey Commission will review all aspects of the personnel policy at its forthcoming meeting.

It is believed that the 30 negro Air Force officers, seven warrant officers and 10 WAF officers will be given assignments on a world-wide basis, dependent solely upon their special proficiencies.  Among its negro officers, the Air Force has 122 who are rated, of whom 115 are pilots. Seven are navigators.

Colonel Davis is the ranking negro officer in the Air Force. There are two lieutenant colonels and 12 majors among the negro officers hold field grade rank. Presumably, some of these would be assigned to higher echelon schools for training which would lead to higher command assignments.

In addition to Colonel Davis, 66 other negro Air Force officers hold regular commissions of whom two are graduates of the U. S. Military Academy. Sixty are rated officers.

The only negro officers currently assigned to tactical air units are those assigned to elements of the 332nd, with operational headquarters at Lockbourne AFB, Ohio.

With regard to reassignment of its 23,857 negro enlisted personnel, who comprise 6.7 per cent of the total Air Force strength, it is understood that the new policy calls for three. phases:

1. Highly skilled flight crewmen and [[end of first column]] [[start of body of second column]] maintenance personnel of proven emotional stability and capable of exemplary performance without regard to place of assignment will be selected for immediate world-wide assignment upon implementation to the new plan.

2. Lees skilled personnel, who nonetheless have revealed promise of becoming proficient airmen, probably will be sent to Air Force schools for additional training.

3. Those enlisted men who are not deemed—after careful screening—to be of potential value in fulfilling complex Air Force assignments will be separated from service.

This third step is said to have the full support of negro personnel within the Air Force, who want to be placed on a squarely competitive basis for all future advancement. It is said that because a considerable number of negro enlisted airmen may not be able to meet the General Classification Test requirements, the number of initial separations upon implementation of the plan may be relatively high.

Other aspects of the Air Force plan, not yet submitted to the Fahey Commission, are expected to be disclosed following the forthcoming meetings. It is reported that the Army and Navy have been asked to study the plan and to submit their comments. Possibly also Secretary of Defense James Forrestal will call upon his recently created Personnel Policy Board to submit its recommendations.
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Reassign Four AF Generals

Reassignment of Four Air Force generals has been announced. Brig. Gen. Yantis H. Taylor, commanding general of the Fourth Fighter Wing, Andrews AFB, Md., will become deputy commanding general of Air Defense Command, with station at Andrews AFB.

Maj. Gen. James D. McIntyre, formerly special assistant to the Secretary of the AF, has been assigned as Deputy Director of Legislative Liason in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Brig. Gen. Frederick Von H. Kimble, former commanding general of the Aleutian Section, Alaskan Command, Davis AFB, has been assigned to Washington as a member of the AF Personnel Council.

Brig. Gen. Charles E. Thomas, jr., formerly with the Air Division, Joint U.S. Military Advisory group in China, has been named commanding general of the 1503d Air Transport Wing in Tokyo.
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