Raydon Airfield Memorial Info Sign
Brigadier General Edwin Shepard Chickering, known as "Chick" was born September 21, 1912, the third of four children of James and Helen Chickering of Oil City, Pennsylvania, where his father was with the Oil Well Supply Company. He grew up in Oil City, attended the University School in Cleveland, Ohio, and graduated with an engineering degree from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in 1935, where he was a member of the Chi Psi fraternity as were his father and older brother before him. During his boyhood, Chick developed a passion for flight, leading him to build and then fly his glider which hung in the engineering lab at Lehigh for many years.
Following graduation from Lehigh, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps and attended flight school at Randolph and Kelly Fields in San Antonio, Texas. After winning his wings, he applied for and was awarded a regular commission as a Second Lieutenant and was assigned to Kelly Field as an instructor. During this time, he met and married Mary Jim Lane of Little Rock, Arkansas. When the U. S. entered World War II, Chick was appointed Commander of the 357th Fighter Group that he led in combat from England. In June of 1944, he went into Normandy on D-Day Plus Two with advanced elements of the Ninth Tactical Air Force to establish airfields that would be used by the Allies. Subsequently, he was named Commander of the 367th Fighter group that he led until the war ended. During the war, he was promoted to Colonel.
Following World War II, Colonel Chickering became an instructor at the Air Command and Staff School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. He attended the Air War College, graduating in 1950. In November of 1950, the Chickerings' son James was born. During the Korean conflict, Colonel Chickering served as Deputy Commander of the Air Force Fighter Weapons School, Las Vegas, Nevada, and later commanded the 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing at Kimpo, Korea.
Upon his return to the U. S. from Korea, Colonel Chickering became Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations of the Ninth Air Force and was based at Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina. In 1954, he was promoted to Brigadier General and assigned as Commander of the 405th Fighter Bomber Wing and Commander of Langley Air Force Base, Virginia. These organizations were merged into the 836th Air Division in 1957 which General Chickering commanded. During his tour of duty at Langley, General Chickering was awarded a commendation from the community of Hampton Roads for exceptional community service that raised the prestige of the military and greatly improved the relations between the military personnel of Langley and the surrounding area. In 1958, General Chickering was assigned as Chief of Staff for Operations of the Pacific Air Forces, Hickam Air Force Base, Honolulu, Hawaii. In August of the following year, he took command of the Pacific Air Forces Base Command, the Hawaiian Air Defense Division, and Hickam Air Force Base. During his tour of duty, statehood brought many exciting changes to Hawaii.
Returning to the mainland in 1961, General Chickering was assigned to the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force and later to the Office of the Secretary of Defense on a special project with the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. His last military assignment followed as Chief of Staff to the U. S. Representative to the NATO Military Committee and Standing Group. General Chickering retired in November of 1967 in Alexandria, Virginia.
Active as always in his retirement, Chick worked several years for a Baltimore, Maryland engineering firm. He also was a founding member of the Clan Hamilton Society at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games in Linville, North Carolina, and served as its Arkansas Commissioner after moving to Little Rock. Chick was an active Rotarian and held several offices including President. General Chickering had always encouraged youth and education, and in addition to the schools which he attended, he supported The Episcopal High School of Alexandria, Virginia, The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, and The College School of Webster Groves, Missouri, among others. He also generously supported the construction of the new Cannon Memorial Hospital in Linville, North Carolina.
Edwin died on February 14, 2003, at the age of 90, in Little Rock, Arkansas. He is now buried in the Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA.
His decorations include:
Air Medal with 7 oak leaf clusters (1 silver, 2 bronze)
Army of Occupation Medal
Distinguished Flying Cross with 1 oak leaf cluster
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
Korean Service Medal
Legion of Merit
National Defense Service Medal
United Nations Service Medal
World War II Victory Medal
Croix de Guerre (French)
Air Force Longevity Service Award with 6 oak leaf clusters (1 silver, 1 bronze)
Source of information: www.findagrave.com, www.americanairmuseum.com