Lt. General George H. Brett
Air Force (USAAF)
George Howard Brett was born February 7, 1886 in Cleveland, Ohio. He never completed high school, he graduated from Virginia Military Institute (VMI) in three years as with second honors. Afterwards, he accepted a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Philippine Scouts and served for more than two years in the Philippines.
World War II
In May 1941, selected as Chief of the Air Corps, a position that directly involved him in the critical projects of procurement and maintenance of aircraft and equipment, and the training of personnel. On June 20, 1941 he became part of the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF). During August 1941, sent to the British War Fronts to study problems with military aviation. At the start of the Pacific War, appointed as Second in Command under Sir Archibald Wavell, South Western Pacific Area and attends a meeting with him to meet Nationalist Chinese leader Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek in Chungking.
During December 1941 arrives at Darwin. On January 1, 1942 appointed Deputy Supreme Commander for the American British Dutch and Australian Command (ABDACOM) established the same day. A week later promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General. On March 18, 1942 as Commander and Chief of Allied Allied Air Forces in the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) photographed seated at his desk.
On April 20, 1942 Brett assumed command of Allied Air Headquarters, SWPA at Victoria Barracks in Melbourne. His staff included Chief of Staff Brigadier General Stephen Chamberlin and later RAAF Air Vice Marshall William D. Bostock. Air Commodore Hewitt was appointed as Director of Allied Air Intelligence. After the "Royce Mission", MacArthur personally wrote a reprimand to Brett and the two clashed and led to his replacement.
On August 3, 1942 awarded the Silver Star by MacArthur with the citation reading: "for gallantry in action in air reconnaissance in the combat zone, Southwest Pacific Area, during the months of May, June and July 1942". Departed Austrlia aboard B-17D "The Swoose" 40-3097 across the Pacific and returned to the United States on August 4, 1942. During November 1942 became the Commanding General of the Caribbean Defense Command and Panama Canal Department defending the Panama Canal Zone (CZ) until October 1945. Afterwards, he was a patient in Brooke General Hospital.
In May 1946 Brett retired with the rank of Major General with a total of 35 years of military service.
Brett earned the Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Silver Star and Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC). He also received decorations from 17 foreign countries, including the Order of the Orange-Nassau of the Netherlands and Knight Commander Order of the Bath of Great Britain.
Brett passed away on December 2, 1963 at age 77. He is buried at Palm Cemetery in Winter Park, FL.
Devol "Rock" Brett (son) became USAF Lieutenant General flew P-51s in Korea and F-4s in Vietnam
U.S. Air Force (USAF) - Major General George H. Brett
Oz@War - Lieutenant General George H. Brett in Australia during WW2
FindAGrave - LTG George Howard Brett (obituary, photo, grave photo)
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