Louis T. Seith

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Louis Theodore Seith
GEN Seith, Louis Theodore (BGEN Commandant of USAFA).jpg
Louis T. Seith pictured as brigadier general as Commandant of the United States Air Force Academy, c. 1960s
Nickname(s) Ted
Born January 17, 1921
Quincy, Massachusetts
Died March 6, 2007(2007-03-06) (aged 86)
Sterling, Virginia
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Air Force
Years of service 1943–1977
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg General
Commands held 840th Bombardment Squadron
Commandant of Cadets United States Air Force Academy
Deputy Commandant United States Air Force Academy
Deputy Commander Seventh Air Force
Deputy Commander Thirteenth Air Force
United States Military Assistance Group, Thailand and Chief, Joint United States Military Advisory Group, Thailand
Chief of Staff Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe[1]
Battles/wars World War II
Korean War
Cold War
Vietnam War

Louis Theodore "Ted" Seith (January 17, 1921 – March 6, 2007) was a former General in the United States Air Force and the former Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe.


Early life[edit]

Seith was born in Quincy, Massachusetts, in 1921, received his secondary education in San Diego, California, and graduated from Brown Military Academy, Pacific Beach, California, in 1938. He entered the United States Military Academy West Point in 1939, where he played varsity football and graduated with a bachelor of science degree and a commission as second lieutenant in the United States Army Air Corps in 1943. He attended flying school while at the academy and received his pilot wings in 1942.[1]

After graduation he entered B-17 Flying Fortress flight training and later joined the 483rd Bombardment Group at Tampa, Florida. He commanded the 840th Bombardment Squadron when the group went to the Mediterranean Theater of Operations, in March 1944, and became group operations officer in January 1945. He participated in the campaigns of Rome-Arno, Po Valley, Rhineland, North Apennines, Central Europe, Northern France, Southern France, and Southern Europe. He flew 52 combat missions during his World War II service.[1]

Seith returned to the United States in August 1945 and was assigned to the United States Military Academy as a physics instructor. In 1948 he was assigned to Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, first as aide to Lieutenant General Elwood "Pete" Quesada and later as a member of the TAC staff. During this period he attended the Air Tactical School.[1]

From July 1950 to August 1953, he was an aircraft accident investigator and flight safety research plans and policy officer with the deputy inspector general, Headquarters United States Air Force. He left this assignment to attend the Air Command and Staff School which he completed in December 1953.[1]

During the next three and one-half years, he served with the Far East Air Forces, first with the 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron in Japan and later as director of fighter bomber operations, Headquarters Japan Air Defense Force. He ended the tour of duty in Japan as director of plans, Headquarters Fifth Air Force.[1]

Louis T. Seith pictured as general

He joined the staff of the United States Air Force Academy in June 1957 as operations and training officer to the commandant of cadets, and became deputy commandant two years later. He left this assignment to attend the National War College, and following graduation in June 1961, he assumed command of the 414th Fighter Group, Oxnard Air Force Base, California. In July 1963 he was assigned to Headquarters United States Air Force as deputy director of education and training in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff For Personnel. He returned to the U.S. Air Force Academy in July 1965 and was appointed commandant of cadets.[1]

In December 1967 he became chief of staff, Headquarters Seventh Air Force, Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Republic of Vietnam. He assumed duties as deputy commander, Seventh Air Force/Thirteenth Air Force, in June 1968. Seith became commander, United States Military Assistance Group, Thailand, and chief, Joint United States Military Advisory Group, Thailand, in May 1969.[1]

General Seith joined the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in August 1971 as vice director, J-3 (operations), and in July 1972 was named director for plans and policy (J-5).[1]

In August 1974 General Seith was assigned to Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe as chief of staff. He was promoted to the grade of general effective Aug. 1, 1974, with same date of rank.[1]

Seith died on March 6, 2007 at a retirement community in Sterling, Virginia after suffering multiple strokes.[2] At some point, the Air Force Aid Society named an award after him.[citation needed]


Awards earned during his career include the:[1]


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "GENERAL LOUIS T. SEITH". United States Air Force. Archived from the original on 2012-12-12. Retrieved 28 December 2010. 
  2. ^ "Gen. Louis 'Ted' Seith, 86; Air Force Veteran of 3 Wars". The Washington Post. 9 March 2007. Retrieved 27 September 2012.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)

External links[edit]