Assigned to the Southwest Pacific as a B-17 pilot during World War II and took part in major campaigns, flying 63 combat missions. Later in the war, he commanded the advanced headquarters of the Far East Service Command which was a vital link in winning the war.
Served as Chief of the Air Force’s Scientific Liaison Branch and then Assistant Chief for Development Planning upon graduation from the National War College.
Became Assistant to the Commander of the Air Research and Development Command, and headed its secret new Western Development Division, with complete authority over the Atlas program. He established a remarkable organization to manage the largest peacetime weapons development program in history and utilized the concept of concurrency to accelerate the Atlas development.
Initiated development of the Atlas, intercontinental ballistic missile, Titan ICBM, and the Thor intermediate range missile. He was also responsible for their production and deployment.
Commanded the Ballistic Missile Division and directed the Minuteman ICBM program.
Led the efforts to perfect reliable missiles and satellites for national defense and the nation’s space program as commander of the Air Force Systems Command.