Lt. Gen. Fred M. Dean, ‘34

Fred Dean, WMA class of 1934, compiled a distinguished record in the U.S. Air Force. While at Western, Dean had been an honor student, athlete and editor of the Shrapnel. Following his 1934 gradua­tion he attended the USMA at West Point, graduating in 1938. During WW II Dean commanded the 31st Fighter Group, serving in the Europe­an and Mediterranean theaters of operations. He personally flew 104 combat missions and logged 3400 hours in the Brit­ish “Spitfire” and at the age of 27 held the rank of Colonel. In 1943 Dean was assigned to serve as Executive Officer to General H.”Hap” Arnold, Commanding General of the Army Air Forces and in that role accompanied President F. D. Roosevelt to the Yalta Con­ference and President Truman to Potsdam. At the age of 37 he would become the young­est general in the Air Force. Following the war Dean held many posts before retiring in 1972 as commander, Allied Air Forces Southern Europe in Naples, Italy. His military decorations in­clude the Distinguished Ser­vice Medal- Air Force design with oak leaf cluster, Distin­guished Service Medal-Army design, Silver Star, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Air Med­al with nine oak leaf clusters and numerous foreign awards.

Lt. Col. Fred M. Dean, 1934, Gets Another Citation In Action
For the second time within two months, a Western grad, Lieut. Col. Fred M. Dean, had been reported in the press of the nation for heroic action in the WW II. "Time" magazine related that he was credited with destroying five French tanks in the interior of Algeria during the sensational American invasion of North Africa.Only a few weeks previously, Col. Dean, then a Major, was decorated in England for leading four separate air squadrons in one day in the raid on Dieppe.When a cadet at Western, Col. Dean's name was Murray Dean Pope, and his home was in East St. Louis. When he entered West Point, he had the name changed to Dean. He graduated from Western in 1934. Gen. Dean was a friend of Lt. Commander Edward O'Hare, Navy flyer who shot down six Jap planes off the Marshall Islands. He belonged to General James Doolittle's flyers. His group of fellow cadets of the years 1932 to 1934 have frequently hit the headlines for distinguished service.

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