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John D. Lavelle

United States general

Died when: 62 years 304 days (754 months)
Star Sign: Virgo


John D. Lavelle

John Daniel Lavelle (September 9, 1916 – July 10, 1979) was a United States Air Force general and commander of Seventh Air Force, with headquarters at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Republic of Vietnam.

Lavelle was removed from his position in 1972 and forced to retire due to alleged misconduct over bombing missions during the Vietnam War while serving as the Seventh Air Force commander.

Since the ranks of general and lieutenant general are temporary ranks and linked to their corresponding position of assignment, federal law at the time, required senatorial approval for an officer to retire at these higher ranks.

Due to these allegations the Senate refused to confirm Lavelle's retirement as a four-star or three-star general.Lavelle was reverted and retired at his permanent two-star rank of major general.

On August 4, 2010, President Barack Obama nominated Lavelle posthumously for promotion back to the grade of general on the Air Force retired list in light of the release of declassified information that showed that Lavelle had been authorized by President Richard Nixon to conduct the bombing missions.

Further, the found no evidence Lavelle caused, either directly or indirectly, the falsification of records, or that he was even aware of their existence.

Once he learned of the reports, Lavelle took action to ensure the practice was discontinued.The nomination to restore his four-star rank was recommended by the Air Force Board for Correction of Military Records, the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of the Air Force.

However, the Senate Armed Services Committee declined to vote on the nomination, allowing it to expire without action at the end of the legislative session.

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