LeMay, Curtis Emerson (ləmāˈ) [key], 1906–90, U.S. general, b. Columbus, Ohio. Commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. army air corps in 1930, he advanced through grades and in World War II commanded a bomber group in Europe and later the 20th Air Force in the Pacific. After the war he served (1945–47) as deputy chief of air staff for research and development before commanding the U.S. air force in Europe. LeMay was appointed (1948) commander in chief of the Strategic Air Command and in 1957 was also made vice chief of staff for the air force. In 1961, he became air force chief of staff, serving until his retirement in 1965. Chosen by George C. Wallace in 1968 as his running mate, he ran unsuccessfully for vice president on the American Independent party ticket.
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