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Arthur Ernest Exon


Retired May 1, 1969.
Brigadier General Arthur Ernest Exon is director of the defense contract administration services region, Defense Supply Agency, Los Angeles, Calif.
General Exon was born in Geddes, S.D., in 1916. He attended high school in Fairfax, S.D. and Southern State Teachers College at Springfield, S.D. He was principal of the Junior High School at Fairfax, S.D. for four years before entering military service in January 1942.
In March 1942, General Exon entered aviation cadet training and received his pilot rating in November of the same year. His first duty assignment following flight school was with the 57th Fighter Group in the European-African-Middle Eastern theater of operations. He flew 135 combat missions in Africa, Sicily, Italy, Corsica and Southern France with a total of 325 combat hours. During a mission over Cecina, Italy, in April 1944, his aircraft was severely damaged by an exploding ammunition depot and he was forced to bail out. Captured by the Germans, he remained a prisoner of war until June 1945.
In 1948, following completion of a two-year industrial administration course at the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, he was assigned to Air Materiel Command Headquarters, as chief of the Maintenance Data Section. From August 1951 until April 1952, he was deputy director of maintenance engineering at the Middletown Air Materiel Area, Olmsted Air Force Base, Pa.
Following two years of duty as deputy for operations for the Far East Logistics Force, Japan, he returned to the United States in July 1954 to attend the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
He later was assigned to the Pentagon for five years where he held various procurement assignments, among them deputy for procurement and production, deputy chief of staff for materiel. In 1960 he became chief of ballistic missiles within the Directorate of Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, and was responsible for establishing the Jupiter Ballistic Missile system for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Italy and Turkey.
He departed Europe in July 1963 for duty as deputy commander, Middletown Air Materiel Area, Olmsted Air Force Base, Pa. In August 1964 he was assigned as commander, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. He assumed duties in January 1966 as director, Defense Contract Administration Services Region, Los Angeles, Calif.
His decorations include the Distinguished Service Cross, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 15 oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, British Distinguished Flying Cross, Croix de Guerre (France), with palm and star.


Units served with

  • 57th Fighter Group

    57th Fighter Group

    The group was first activated as the 57th Pursuit Group in January 1941, flying P-40 Warhawks as part of the Army Air Corps Northeast Defense Sector (later assigned to the I Fighter Command) at Mitchel Field, New York. It trained in New England and...

  • 64th Fighter Squadron

    64th Fighter Squadron

    Formed as a P-40 Warhawk pursuit squadron in January 1941 as part of the Army Air Corps Northeast Defense Sector (later I Fighter Command) at Mitchel Field, New York. Trained in New England and provided air defense of the northeast after the Japanese...


Associated Place


Event Location Date
Born Geddes, SD 57342, USA 13 March 1916
Squadron Commander 71040 Amendola FG, Italy 17 August 1943 – 20 April 1944

64th Fighter Squadron

Bailed out/Captured 57023 Cecina, Province of Livorno, Italy 20 April 1944
POW Zagan, Poland 21 April 1944 – May 1945

Stalag Luft III

Base Commander Wright-Patterson AFB, OH, USA August 1964 – January 1966

From 1964-66 he was the Commanding Officer of Wright-Patterson AFB, where crash material was taken in 1947. He said other UFO-related field operations were staged at W-P during his tenure. Teams of men would fly in from Washington on an investigation. W-P would supply them with planes and crews for their operations

From 1955 to 1960, he was a colonel stationed at the Pentagon. He said he was aware of a UFO controlling committee made up primarily of very high-ranking military officers and intelligence people. His nickname for this group was "The Unholy Thirteen".

Exon's knowledge of the Roswell events was primarily second-hand. Except for his later fly-over the crash area and the later operations out of W-P when he was C/O, Exon disclaimed direct knowledge. He said he never saw the actual Roswell crash material, but was told the result of testing by other personnel involved. Likewise for the recovery and shipment of bodies. However, Exon did emphasize that he was told these things by men who were directly involved and whom he knew well and trusted. He mentioned knowing some of the photographers who photographed the sites.

How the Roswell crash would have been handled and how it would have been covered up seems to be largely speculative, based on his knowledge of how the government and military chain of command would have functioned under the circumstances. And seemingly he knew only indirectly of the UFO control group while he was at the Pentagon.

Died California, USA 22 July 2005

World War II veteran:
- Recipient of the second highest award for courage, the Distinguished Service Cross.
- A P-40 fighter pilot, he flew 135 combat missions, for 325 combat hours, in Africa, Sicily, Corsica, Italy, & Southern France.

He became a Brigadier-General, United States Air Force. He was stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force base in 1947. From 1948 - 1951, he was assigned to the Air Materiel Command Headquarters.

From 1964 - 1966, he was the Commander of Wright-Patterson AFB.

Social Security Number 485-12-6873

He is also famous for his knowledge of the wreckage of the 1947 Roswell, New Mexico UFO crash. He believed that it was extra-terrestrial.

Buried Riverside, CA, USA 25 July 2005

Riverside National Cemetery
Riverside County
California, USA
Plot: Section 17 - Site 393


Date Contributor Update
14 December 2016 02:54:19 466thHistorian Created entry with surname, middlename, firstname, nationality, service number, highest rank, role, biography, events, unit associations, place associations and media associations