Sept. 1, 1948, Died August 1, 1967
Hyde Brereton was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in
1890. He attended St. John's College, Annapolis, Maryland;
entered the U.S. Naval Academy in 1907, and graduated
in June 1911. He resigned as an ensign, and was appointed
a second lieutenant in the Coast Artillery Corps of the
Regular Army on August 17, 1911.
a year's service in the Coast Artillery Corps, he was
detailed in September 1912 to the Aviation Section, Signal
Corps, and received flying training at the Signal Corps
Aviation School at San Diego, California, qualifying as
a military aviator on March 27, 1913. In July 1916, he
was transferred to the Second Field Artillery, while serving
in the Philippines. He was re-detailed to the Signal Corps,
and assigned to duty with the Second Aero Squadron in
the Philippine Islands in January 1917.
to the United States in March 1917, he was assigned to
duty in Washington, D.C., in the Office of the Aviation
Section as chief signal officer.
went overseas in October 1917, and the following March
was placed in command of the 12th Aero Squadron, one of
the first American flying units on the front. During this
time he carried out extensive operations in both the Toul
and Luneville sectors. He took part in the attack at Vaux
in July 1918, and on July 5 became chief of aviation,
First Army Corps. He took command of the Corps Observation
Wing immediately preceding the St. Mihiel operations,
and in October 1918, became operations officer on the
staff of the chief of Air Service of the American Expeditionary
Forces. He continued in this capacity until the cessation
of hostilities, when he was appointed chief of staff,
Headquarters Air Service of the Third Army.
his return to the United States in February 1919, he was
on duty in the Office of the Director of Air Service in
Washington as chief of the Operations Division, Training
and Operations Group, until December 1919, when he returned
to France for duty as air attache at the American Embassy
in Paris. In August 1922, he was assigned to Kelly Field,
Texas, where he served successively as commanding officer
of the Tenth School Group; assistant commandant of the
Advanced Flying School; director of attack training, and
president of the board on attack aviation.
September 1924, he assumed his duties as instructor at
the Air Corps Tactical School at Langley Field, Va., and
in June of the following year became commanding officer
of the Second Bombardment Group at Langley Field. In August
1927 he entered the Command and General Staff School at
Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, from which he graduated the
following June. He was then appointed commanding officer
of the 88th Observation Squadron at Post Field, Fort Sill,
Oklahoma, and Air Service instructor at the Field Artillery
to duty in Panama in August 1931, he became commanding
officer of France Field and the Sixth Composite Group,
commanding officer of the Panama Air Depot and air officer
of the Panama Canal Department successively. In July 1935,
he became an instructor at the Command and General Staff
School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and served as such
until June 1959. From July 1939 to October 1940, he was
on duty at Barksdale Field, Louisiana, as base commander,
and then was assigned to command the 17th Bombardment
Wing, General Headquarters Air Force, with station at
Savannah, Georgia. In July 1941, he was assigned to command
the Third Air Force at Tampa, Florida.
the outbreak of World War II, he commanded the Far East
Air Force in the Philippines Islands. In January 1942,
he was designated air commander-in-chief of the Allied
Air Forces on the staff of General Wavell, with station
in Java, in addition to his duties as commander of the
Fifth Air Force. He organized and commanded the Tenth
Air Force in India in March 1942. In June he was designated
commander of the Middle East Air Force, later designated
the Ninth Air Force. He assumed command of the U.S. Army
Forces in the Middle East in February 1945, in addition
to his other duties. In October 1943, he relinquished
this command serving thereafter as commanding general
of the Ninth Air Force in the European theater of operations.
In August 1944, he was assigned to command the First Allied
Airborne Army and served in the European theater of operations
until the capitulation of Germany in May 1945.
then returned to the United States for assignment to Air
Force headquarters at Washington, and in July 1945, was
assigned to command the Third Air Force at Tampa, Florida.
In January 1946, he was named commanding general of the
First Air Force at Mitchel Field, New York. The following
month he was assigned to the Office of the Secretary of
War at Washington. In July 1947, he was relieved from
duty with the Office of the Secretary of War, and assigned
to the Military Liaison Committee of the Atomic Energy
Commission in Washington.
returned to Air Force headquarters in June 1948, to become
secretary general of the Air Board.
conspicuous overseas service in World War I, he was awarded
the Distinguished Service Cross and the Purple Heart.
He received the Croix de Guerre with two palms from the
French Government, which further rewarded him by making
him an Officer of the Legion of Honor. Other honors conferred
upon him were Commander, First Class, Order of Danilo
I, awarded by the Montenogrin Government, and the award
of Chevalier, Order of Albert of Belgium; the Victor Medal
with six stars, Army of Occupation.
World War II, he was awarded the Distinguished Service
Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Legion of Merit with
oak leaf cluster, the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying
Cross, the Air Medal and the Bronze Star Medal.
World War II foreign decorations include the Order of
Orange and Nassau Commander Cross by the Netherlands Government
(December 1942); the Order of Companion of the Bath by
the British Government (June 1942); the Legion of Honor,
Rank of Commander, and Croix de Guerre with Palm by the
French Government (January 1945); and the Order of Polonia
Restituta Commander Cross with Star by the Polish Government
A 1911 graduate of the Naval Academy, when Japan attacked
in the Pacific in December 1941, he was commander of U.S.
Far East Air Forces, based in the Philippines. What had
been described as a breakdown in communications with MacArthur's
Headquarters enabled the enemy to catch Brereton's Luzon-based
B-17s on the ground and the bulk of his force was destroyed.
serving in the defense of the Philippines, he assumed
command of the Middle East Air Forces, which later became
the 9th Air Force. Acheiving the rank of Lieutenant General
in April 1944, he commanded the 9th when it raided Ploesti,
Rummania, and remained with it until August 1944, at which
time he took over the 1st Allied Airborne Army.
is buried in Section 7 of Arlington National Cemetery.