Malcolm C. Grow
Major General, United States Air Force
of the United States Air Force
MAJOR GENERAL MALCOLM C. GROW
General Grow was the first surgeon general of the U.S. Air Force (July 1, 1949 - November 30, 1949). He received his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College in 1909 and entered the U.S. Army Medical Service in 1917.
While chief flight surgeon of the Army Air Corps (1934-39) he, in conjunction with Major General Harry G. Armstrong, founded the Aero Medical Laboratory at right-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
In July 1943, General Grow received the Legion of Merit for developing body armor to protect combat crews. A study of wounds incurred by members of combat crews showed that nearly 70 percent were caused by missiles of relatively low velocity. He led the way in developing a light body armor and steel helmet that save many lives and materially improved combat crew morale.
In May 1944, General Grow was awarded the Distinguished
Service Medal for developing a device to protect gunners from windblast;
electrically heated clothing, gloves, boots, handwarmers and casualty bags
for wounded; wind and fire resistant face and neck protectors; and a special
combat ration for use on long bombing missions. Frostbite cases decreased
and flight efficiency increased. After a study of psychiatric
Such efforts, especially in research, won for him the John Jeffries Award in 1947, the Gorgas Award in 1950 and many others, including many from other nations. Just prior to his retirement, he received an oak leaf cluster to his Distinguished Service Medal for his efforts in promoting the study of aeromedicine, airborne medical equipment, and organizational planning.
General Grow was appointed acting air surgeon for the Army Air Forces in 1945 and Air Surgeon in 1946.
General Grow was buried with full military honors in Section 34 of Arlington National Cemetery.
Photo Courtesy of Russell C. Jacobs, January 2006
GROW, MALCOLM C
DATE OF BIRTH: 11/19/1887
DATE OF DEATH: 10/20/1960
BURIED AT: SECTION 34 SITE 6-A
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
Posted: 5 August 2001 Updated: 3 September 2005 Updated: 28 January 2006