Col. William S. Chairsell arrived at Korat RTAFB in August 1966 to assume command of the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing. He was previously assigned as commander of the 49th Tactical Fighter Wing at Spangdahlem AB, Germany.
A native of Birmingham, Ala., Colonel Chairsell donned his gold bars and silver wings in 1942. The year before he had graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute with a degree in Civil Engineering. In 1963, he received his masters degree in business administration from George Washington University.
In the early 1950s, Colonell Chairsell was a staff officer with the Flying Training Branch at USAF Headquarters, Washington, D.C. From 1954 to 1956 he commanded pilot training units at Spence AFB, Ga., and Greenville AFB, Miss.
He spent his first tour in the Pacific area in 1956 when he was assigned to the 49th Fighter-Bomber Group in Japan. The following year he went to Kadena AB, Okinawa, where he soon commanded the 18th Fighter-Bomber Wing.
In 1958 he returned to the U.S. and filled various positions with the Wright Air Development Division at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. He remained there until 1961, when he received an assignment to the Pentagon again -- this time as a member of the general operations division of the Directorate of Operations, Joint Staff, USAF Hq. He remained in this capacity until 1964 and his assignment to Germany.
After returning from Thailand, he served at Eglin AFB, Florida; Shaw AFB, South Carolina; he was promoted to major general in 1970, and was named commander of the Tactical Fighter Weapons Center at Nellis AFB, Nevada in 1971. He retired in 1973, and died in November of 1994.