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Orval R. Cook
Official portrait of General Orval Ray Cook, USAF
Born (1898-07-27)July 27, 1898
Died March 18, 1980(1980-03-18) (aged 81)
Place of birth West Union, Indiana
Place of death Falls Church, Virginia
Buried at Arlington National Cemetery
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Air Force
Years of service 1922–1956
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg General
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Air Force Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit

Orval Ray Cook (July 27, 1898 – March 18, 1980) was a United States Air Force four-star general who served as Deputy Commander in Chief, United States European Command (DCINCEUR) from 1954 to 1956.


Cook was born in 1898 in West Union, Indiana. He graduated from the United States Military Academy on June 13, 1922, and was commissioned a second lieutenant of Air Service.

Entering Primary Flying School at Brooks Field, Texas, Cook graduated from Advanced Flying School at Kelly Field, Texas in January 1924 and remained there as an instructor. That August he joined the Third Pursuit Squadron at Clark Field in the Philippines, returning to Brooks Field in September 1926 as assistant engineering officer and flying instructor at the Primary Flying School.

Entering the Air Corps Engineering School at Wright Field, Ohio in June 1929, Cook graduated a year later and was assigned to the Aircraft Branch at Materiel Division Headquarters there. He became an instructor at the U.S. Military Academy in June 1934, graduated from the Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwell Field, Alabama, four years later, and from the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in June 1939.

Reassigned to the Materiel Center at Wright Field, Cook served with the Engineering Section of the Production Division becoming chief of the section in April 1942. That November he was named district supervisor of the Eastern Procurement District at New York City, and the following May returned to Wright Field as chief of the Production Division.

Lieutenant General Orval R. Cook, 1951

Ordered to the Southwest Pacific in June 1945, General Cook joined the Far East Air Forces on Okinawa where he established an Air Force Depot and directed Air Force supply and maintenance activities in that area. After cessation of hostilities he was sent to Japan to establish an Air Depot and to assume command of the Seventh Air Service Area Command. Going to Manila in January 1946, he assumed command of the Far East Air Service Command (later redesignated the Pacific Air Service Command).

Assigned to the War Department General Staff, Washington, D.C., in June 1946, Cook became deputy director of the Service, Supply and Procurement Division (later redesignated the Logistics Division). Returning to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio in July 1948, he was named deputy director of Procurement and Industrial Mobilization Planning, Air Materiel Command, becoming deputy to the commanding general for operations a few weeks later, and director of procurement and industrial planning, Air Materiel Command, in September 1949.

Assigned to the Air Staff in July 1951 as Deputy Chief of Staff for Material and promoted to Lt. General. In this capacity he had responsibility for all USAF industrial planning and procurement matters. He was deeply involved in the acquisition of the B-47 and B-52

Joining the United States European Command on April 1, 1954, Cook was deputy commander in chief, with Headquarters at Frankfurt, Germany, moving to Paris, France May 3, 1954.

Cook retired from the Air Force on June 1, 1956, and died on March 18, 1980, at his home in Falls Church, VA. His decorations included the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal and Legion of Merit. He was rated a command pilot, combat observer and aircraft observer.

Orval Cook married Minna Edwards on September 11, 1925, in Manila, Philippines. After her death on November 5, 1988, Minna was buried beside her husband at Arlington National Cemetery.


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