Colonel William R. Stark

Feb 1943 - 6 Apr 1943, Commander 9th Bombardment Squadron (as Major)

Deputy Commander, 7th Bombardment Group

Director of Operations
South East Asia Air Command - 10th & 14th Air Forces

14 Combat Missions   Air Medal

Ascension of Rank

2nd Lt.: 1 July 37
1st Lt.: 1 Oct 41
Captain: 1 Feb 42
Major (Temp): 1 Mar 42   Lt. Colonel (Temp): 1 April 43
Major (Perm): 1 July 48   Lt. Colonel (Perm): 1 July 48
Colonel: 19 Jan 51

To CBI: 12 July 42    Returned: 20 Jan 44

(Info/Images Courtesy of William R. Stark, Jr.)

Colonel William R. Stark

Moses Lake AFB, WA, Col. Stark 2nd from right

The following article is a resume of the career of William R. Stark, Colonel USAF, written in September 1983 -

   Col. Stark was born in the deep South. He was reared and educated in a small college town, where his father was a college professor, a dairyman and farmer in his spare time. Col. Stark spent his boyhood helping on the farm an dairy, cutting hay and silage for the cattle and helping with the milking.
   He did most of the usual things while growing up, such as the Boy Scouts, baseball and football in high school. It was convenient as he lived across the street from the high school!
   One day, while in the eighth grade in school, he looked out the window at the sound of an aircraft. On the wing were the numbers "NX 211". The whole school turned out to see the famous aviator, Charles S. Lindbergh.
   With this and other inspirational experiences, Col. Stark graduated from college in Aeronautical Engineering and with a Reserve Commission in Coast Artillery, after four years of ROTC.
   He then proceeded to the Army Air Corps Training Center at Randolph Field, Texas. Since he was ten pounds underweight to meet the physical standards, he was eating bananas all the way.
   On graduating from Kelly Field as a Second Lieutenant Air Corps, he went on active duty with the Third Attack Group at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana. After one year he was transferred to the Seventh Bomb Group at Hamilton AFB, California. While there he received his Regular Commission in the Army Air Corps and was assigned on temporary duty at the World's Fair at Treasure Island.
   After the Fair, Col. Stark was transferred with his group to Salt Lake City, Utah; then to Boise, Idaho as a Squadron Commander of a B-26 Squadron in the 42nd Bomb Group.
   On the afternoon of 7 December 1941, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, his Squadron proceeded to Seattle to fly anti-submarine patrol duty. The only weapon on board, a .45 caliber automatic pistol!
   In April 1941, Col. Stark was assigned to a special mission to lead a flight of Lockheed Hudsons to China with medical supplies, etc. for the Chinese and General Claire Chenault.
   On completion of the mission, he was assigned to the Seventh Bomb Group in India, as Squadron Commander of the Ninth bomb Squadron, then Deputy Commander. This was the only heavy bomb group in the China-Burma-India Theater to stop the Japanese Naval Forces in the Indian Ocean, Rangoon, Bangkok, and Singapore and to support the Allied Forces in Burma and China.
   Returning to the States in 1943, he was assigned to a heavy bomber training wing, responsible for training 200 combat crews every six weeks for overseas combat. This training was conducted at air bases at March, Muroc, Tonopah and Walla Walla.
   Col. Stark was then transferred to Command and General Staff school at Fort Leavenworth where preliminary plans were prepared for General Eisenhower's invasion of Europe.
   Col. Stark was then transferred to the Industrial College of the Armed Forces as student and then instructor, where plans were prepared for demobilization and more importantly, the National Security Act of 1947, for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and for Secretary Forrestal.
   Afterwards, he was assigned to the Joint Chiefs of Staff to assist in planning for the Defense of the Continental United States.
   After attending the Army's Guided Missile Course at Fort Bliss, and seeing the great potential of the captured German "V-2" rockets at White Sands, assisted in establishing the requirements for the Nike Air Defense Missile and for the Long Range Missile Systems.
   In 1951, he was transferred to the Air War College at Maxwell AFB, Alabama. On graduating he was assigned to the Royal Air Force and the British Ministry of Supply to assist in the testing of the new series of fighter aircraft and V-bombers then being developed.
   After three years, Col. Stark was returned to the States and assigned to Air Proving Ground Command in Florida where he assisted in the operational suitability testing of all Air Forces equipment, air and ground.
   In 1958, he retired from the Air Force and was employed by Aerojet General Corporation who was in the process of developing the solid rocket propulsion system for the Minuteman Missile System.

Colonel Stark's Memorial


7th BG Personnel