General Lauris Norstad USAF - Commander AAFCE 1951 to 1953
Joining the U.S. Air
Forces in Europe in October 1950 General Norstad
was commander in chief, USAFE,
with Headquarters at
Wiesbaden, Germany. On April 2, 1951 he assumed additional duty as commanding
general of the Allied
Air Forces in Central Europe (AAFCE) under the Supreme Headquarters
of the Allied Powers
in Europe (SHAPE). He was designated air deputy to the supreme allied
Europe, SHAPE, on July
Relieved of duty as air deputy to
supreme allied commander, Europe November 20, 1956, the president
appointed General Norstad to become Supreme Allied Commander Europe, and
commander in chief,
U.S. European Command.
As such he initially encouraged France to develop its own nuclear capacity,
but then defected on
the idea once he grew disillusioned with French President Charles de Gaulle's
His decorations included the Air
Force Distinguished Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Silver Star,
Legion of Merit with
oak leaf cluster, Air Medal, and the French Legion of Honor
by decision of General de Gaulle himself.
He was rated a command
pilot, combat observer, and technical observer.
retired on December 31, 1963. He died on September 12, 1988.