BGen Guy M. Townsend, USAF 1920-2011
General Townsend joined the Army Air Corps in 1941. He accumulated 450 combat hours in the South Pacific flying B-17's and B-29's.
After the war, Townsend joined Bomber Test at Wright AFB. He demonstrated how the B-29 could be flown to 40,000 feet and became Chief of Bomber Test. He was assigned to the B-47 test program. Through his effort, the success of the B-47 paved the way for the B-52, the KC-135, and the Boeing family of jetliners.
Townsend flew on the first flight of the B-52, was test force director on the XB-70 supersonic bomber program, served as deputy for systems test at Edwards AFB, C-5 program director, and was B-1 program director when he retired in 1970.
He then joined the Boeing Company as the head of the SST operations organization. His contributions were felt in such projects as commercial derivatives from military programs, the Advanced Airborne Command Post, the YC-14, Microwave Instrument Landing System, and the B-2.
General Townsend has been honored by the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal, Distinguished Unit Citation Emblem, Presidential Unit Citation, the National Defense Service Medal, the Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon, the Doolittle Award, the Pathfinder Award and the Aerospace Walk of Honor (1995).