Clifford Harcourt Rees
Major General, United States Air Force
of the United States Air Force
MAJOR GENERAL CLIFFORD H. REES
Clifford Harcourt Rees was born in Cynthiana, Kentucky, in 1909. He graduated from high school there in 1927, attended the University of Virginia for a year, then entered the U.S. Military Academy. On graduating in 1932, he began flight training and was awarded pilot wings in October 1933. His first assignment with the Army Air Corps was at Luke Field, Territory of Hawaii. In February 1936, he was transferred to Langley Field, Virginia.
In the remaining pre-war years, General Rees was first a student of armament in the Air Corps Technical School at Lowry Field, Colorado; then graduating in 1939, he became assistant director of armament instruction.
In April 1942, as a lieutenant colonel, he "was named assistant chief of staff for operations of the Fourth District, Army Air Forces Technical Training Command at Denver, Colo." In July 1942, he was assigned to Headquarters Technical Training Command, Knollwood, North Carolina. In August 1943, he was transferred to Headquarters Army Air Forces Training Command, Fort Worth, Texas.
In November 1944, he assumed command of the
307th Bombardment Group, a combat-seasoned unit then engaged in the recovery
of the Philippines. On January 6, 1945, General (then Colonel) Rees led
the first air strike against Manila. On the approach his B-24 was hit by
anti-aircraft fire. Despite severe structural damage and
His peacetime assignments include the Army Air Forces Training Command at Fort Worth, Texas, and Barksdale Field, Louisiana. Then, in chronological order: Army Air Forces headquarters in the Pentagon; 1st Fighter Wing at March Air Force Base, California; and the 92nd and 98th Bombardment Wings at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington.
At the outbreak of the Korean conflict he was commander of these last two bombardment wings and soon was overseas. From August 5 to November 1, 1950, he led their B-29s on 11 missions.
On January 4, 1951, he was designated chief of Staff, Eighth Air Force, Carswell Air Force Base, Texas. In October 1951, he was sent to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Defense College, Paris, France, as an instructor. In June 1952, he became chief of staff of the Allied Air Forces in Northern Europe with headquarters in Oslo, Norway. On October 17, 1952, he was notified of his promotion to Brigadier General.
Returning to the United States in late 1954, he was assigned to Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base, Missouri, as deputy commander for operations, Central Air Defense Force. When the 20th Air Division was activated at that base, he became commander.
On March 20, 1958, General Rees took command of the Air Photographic and Charting Service.
His promotion to major general became effective on July 1, 1961 with effective date of rank 1 Aug 1956.
1. Graduated Cynthiana High School, Cynthiana,
1. 1928-June 1932 Cadet, U.S. Military Academy
During these years, he engaged in two noteworthy missions. In 1937, he participated in the longest over-water flight made by tactical aircraft up to that time, when planes of the 2d Bomb Group were deployed to Albrook Field, on a simulated mission of assistance in reinforcing defenses of the Canal Zone.
In 1938, he served as a navigator on one of
three B-17s of the 49th Bombardment Squadron dispatched, on May 12, to
intercept the Italian liner Rex, then in the North Atlantic. Despite heavy
clouds, the three-plane formation, guided only by a radio message giving
the general location of the "target," sighted the ship 725 miles
5. November 1938-June 1939 Air Corps Technical
School (Armament), Lowry Field, Colorado.
DECORATIONS AND MEDALS:
Promotion to major general July 1, 1961, with effective date of rank 1 August 1956.
The General died on June 10, 1992 and was buried
in Section 7A, Arlington National Cemetery.
REES, MARY BROOKS
Posted: 29 July 2001 Updated: 17 November 2001 Updated: 9 August 2003 Updated: 12 January 2008
Photo By M. R. Patterson, 28 June 2003