General Carl Andrew Spaatz (June 28, 1891–July 14, 1974) was an American general in World War II, and the first Chief of Staff of the US Air Force. Carl Andrew Spaatz was born on June 28, 1891, in Boyertown, Pennsylvania. He attended West Point, where he graduated in 1914. He served briefly in the infantry but was assigned to military aviation in October 1915.
Spaatz was appointed to the assistant to the Chief of Air Corps in October 1940 with the temporary rank of brigadier general. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor and America's entry into the war, he was named commander of Air Forces Combat Command in January 1942 and promoted to the temporary rank of major general (he was subsequently promoted to the permanent rank of colonel in September 1942). Spaatz received a temporary promotion to lieutenant general in March 1943; and a temporary promotion to General in March 1945.
In July 1945, President Truman nominated Spaatz for promotion to the permanent rank of major general. Spaatz was appointed commanding general of the Army Air Forces in February 1946 following the retirement of his friend General Henry H. Arnold. After the creation of the independent Air Force by the National Security Act of 1947 and Truman's Executive Order No. 9877, Spaatz was appointed as the first Chief of Staff of the new United States Air Force in September 1947.
Spaatz retired from the military at the rank of general in June 1948. He also served on the Committee of Senior Advisors to the Air Force Chief of Staff, from 1952 until his death. From 1948 until 1959, he served as National Commander of the Civil Air Patrol. In 1954, Spaatz was appointed to the congressional advisory board set up to determine the site for the new United States Air Force Academy. Spaatz died on July 14, 1974 and is buried at the Academy's cemetery in Colorado Springs, Colorado.