BRIGADIER GENERAL BENTON K. PARTIN
Retired Aug. 1, 1978
Brigadier General Benton K. Partin is deputy for systems, Aeronautical Systems Division (Air Force Systems Command), Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
General Partin was born in Lumberton, N.C. He entered active military service in the aviation cadet program in January 1944 and served as an aviation student at Brooks and Randolph fields, Texas.
After World War II, he returned to North Carolina State College where he was awarded a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering in June 1949. As a Reserve Officers Training Corps distinguished military graduate, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Regular Air Force.
General Partin reentered active military duty in August 1949 with an assignment in the Strategic Air Command as assistant operations officer, 91st Reconnaissance Technical Squadron at Barksdale Air Force Base, La. In March 1950 he entered pilot training at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, and completed advanced flying training at Vance Air Force Base, Okla., in March 1951.
During the Korean War, after C-54 training at Great Falls Air Force Base, Mont., he was assigned to the 1263d Air Transport Squadron, in the Military Air Transport Service at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii. He flew in support of the Korean airlift and nuclear weapons tests and also served as assistant aircraft maintenance officer.
In September 1953 General Partin entered the Air Force Institute of Technology in the first two-year Graduate Air Ordnance Program, where he received a master of science degree in aeronautical engineering in 1955. In September 1955 he was assigned to the Ballistics Research Laboratories, Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Md. There, as an interservice exchange project engineer, he worked on a variety of armament projects; primarily on warhead and fuse developments for both Air Force and Army missiles.
In July 1957 General Partin was assigned to the Air Weapons Directorate, Headquarters Air Research and Development Command, Baltimore, Md. He later moved with the command headquarters to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., where he was the assistant for advanced weapons concepts. During this assignment, he served as technical secretary to the Weapons Committee and Joint Committee on Limited Warfare in the 1958 Woods Hole Summer Study, headed by Dr. Theodore von Karman. There he participated in the initial assembly of experts and planning technology development for, among other things, a coherent optical frequency generator from which responsive proposals generated the acronym LASER. Subsequent to the demise of nonnuclear ordnance development in 1959, General Partin served as a systems analyst in Research and Engineering, Headquarters Air Force Systems Command, Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and later as a research and development analyst in Plans at AFSC.
From June 1961 to March 1964, General Partin studied operations research at Case Institute of Technology, and statistics at Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He was assigned in March 1964 to the Deputy Chief of Staff, Research and Development, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, with duty as a staff development engineer in the Directorate of Development. He participated in the establishment of the Armament Systems Division and formulation of the accelerated ordnance program. He also served as a tactical systems development plans officer in the Directorate of Development Plans.
He completed the Air War College as a distinguished graduate in June 1967. General Partin next received C-123 combat crew training and was assigned in November 1967 as a special assistant to the director, Tactical Air Control Center, Headquarters Seventh Air Force, Tan Son Nhut Airfield, Republic of Vietnam. In March 1968 he was named director, Tactical Analysis at Headquarters Seventh Air Force.
In January 1969 General Partin was assigned special duty in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as the first Chairman of the Department of Defense Air Munition Requirements and Development Committee. With organizational changes in OSD in 1970, additional responsibilities were assigned to him as assistant for aircraft and air ordnance in the Office of the Assistant Director, Land Warfare.
General Partin was transferred to Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., in June 1970, where he served as commander of the Air Force Armament Laboratory. He was assigned in June 1972 as deputy director, Development and Acquisition, Deputy Chief of Staff, Research and Development, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. He assumed his present position as deputy for systems, Aeronautical Systems Division, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, in July 1975.
He is a command pilot and wears the Missileman Badge. His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster and the Air Force Commendation Medal.
General Partin's hometown is Chadbourn, N.C.
He was promoted to the grade of brigadier general effective Sept. 1, 1972, with date of rank Aug. 19, 1972.
(Current as of November 1975)