Wallace, William J.
[MGen Director of Aviation]

Navy Distinguished Service Medal

Awarded for actions during the World War II
The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Distinguished Service Medal to Brigadier General William J. Wallace (MCSN: 0-1031), United States Marine Corps, for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States in a duty of great responsibility as Commanding General of Air Defense Command and Fighter Command, during action against enemy Japanese forces at Okinawa, from 1 April 1945 to 10 June 1945. A forceful and dynamic leader, highly skilled in the tactics of aerial warfare, Brigadier General Wallace went ashore on Okinawa on 2 April, and, despite inclement weather conditions, limited personnel and the confusion of unloading and carrying out the disposition of supplies for a major campaign, expertly directed operations for the arrival and immediate launching of strikes by Marine Fighter aircraft; located and established an Air Defense Control Center and all available air warning squadrons and inaugurated Fighter Command operations in preparation for the scheduled landing of the first fighter group on 7 April. Continuing his brilliant direction, Brigadier General Wallace coordinated and supervised his composite organization of operating fighter groups, night fighter squadrons and air warning squadrons in carrying out their devastating offensive to account for more than 500 Japanese aircraft and provide close air support for our advancing ground forces during the assault phases of our sustained advance to capture this vital hostile stronghold. By his superb professional ability, sound judgment and cool courage under fire, Brigadier General Wallace contributed materially to the successful prosecution of the war and his valiant devotion to duty throughout reflects the highest credit upon himself, his command and the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: April 1 - June 10, 1945
Service: Marine Corps
Rank: Brigadier General
Company: Commanding General
Division: Air Defense Command & Fighter Command
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Legion of Merit
Awarded for actions during the World War II
(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: William J. Wallace (MCSN: 0-1031), United States Marine Corps, was awarded the Legion of Merit for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States in the Pacific Theater of Operations during the period from 20 August through 29 September 1942.
General Orders: Heroes U.S. Marine Corps, 1861 - 1955: Jane Blakeney
Action Date: August 20 - September 29, 1942
Service: Marine Corps

'''William J. Wallace was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1918. As a lieutenant colonel, he was executive
officer of Marine Aircraft Group 21 on Hawaii when the
Japanese attacked. Later, as a colonel, he commanded Marine
Aircraft Group 23 at Guadalcanal and, as a brigadier general,
commanded the Air Defense and Fighter Command in
Okinawa in 1945.

From 1945 to 1950, Major General Wallace
was the director of Marine Corps aviation. In 1952, after 34
years of service, he retired with the rank of lieutenant general.
He died 7 July 1977.


Lieutenant General Lemuel C . Shepherd, Jr. Commanding General, FMFPac, after an inspection trip to the war zone during which he was briefed on and viewed the operations of the brigade and of VMO—6, echoed General Craig's praise of helicopters and repeated his call for more of them:

There are no superlatives adequate to describe the general reaction to the helicopter. Almost any individual questioned could offer some personal story to emphasize the valuable part played by the five H03S planes available .* Reconnaissance, liaison, visual flank security, movement of security patrols from one key locality to the next, posting and supply of security detachments and many more . There is no doubt that the enthusiasm voiced by the brigade is entirely warranted . Moreover the usefulness of the helicopter is not by any means confined to a situation such as encountered in Korea . No effort should be spared to get helicopters—larger than the H03S-ls if possible —but helicopters in any form, to the theater at once —and on a priority higher than any other weapon.

[11] Cited in BGen Clayton C . Jerome memo to VAdm Cassady, RAdms Soucek, Duckworth, Pride, and Goe, dtd 19Sep50, no Subj, hereafter cited as Jerome memo.

In view of General Shepherd ' s statement pertaining to the helicopter in Korea, Brigadier General Clayton C. Jerome, who relieved Major General Wallace as the Director of Aviation on 1 September 1950, sent a memorandum to Admiral Cassady in which he included General Shepherd' s statement. General Jerome said

"this emphasizes the
[remark] I made the other day in connection with the requirements for helicopters, more helicopters, and more helicopters in the Korea Area. "

[12] Jerome memo .

Major General Lamson-Scribner recalled the period: Just prior to the receipt of General Shepherd's letter, General Jerome and I attended a conference
[at] which Admiral Cassady, was chairman of the Navy Aircraft Procurement Program for Fiscal 51 . The program was for only a relatively few helicopters . We insisted that we needed more than programed for purchase . Admiral Mel Pride, Chief of BuAir, remarked in essence

`If you know as little about helicopters as we do you would not get into one .' Admiral Cassady said ,
`Mel, the Marines want them . Make some changes in the program to provide more helicopters for the Marines .'

[13] MajGen F. H. Lamson-Scribner (Ret.) ltr to Dir MCHist&Mus, dtd 23Mar75 . Comment file, "Developmental History of the Helicopter in the USMC 1946 — 1962 . "


General Jerome's memo was only the latest of many attempts to convince the Department of the Navy to increase the Marine Corps ' inventory of aircraft for the Korean buildup . On 19 July, General Cates submitted a request to the Secretary of the Navy for an additional four Marine fighter squadrons in an effort to increase the total to 12 .