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Col. Frederick J. Sutterlin

100th Bomb Group C.O. (3 Feb 45 – 22 Jun 45)
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Col. Frederick J. Sutterlin
Photo courtesy of Earl C. Rudolph (3/13/2006)

Retired Jan. 1, 1968. Died July 23, 1993.

Brigadier General Frederick J. Sutterlin came to Taiwan Defense Command from his assignment as commander of the 839th Air Division (Tactical Air Command) at Sewart Air Force Base, Tenn. He assumed duty as USTDC chief of staff Aug. 23, 1962.

Commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Field Artillery Reserve in June 1936, he entered pilot training as a flying cadet and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army Air Corps (Reserve) upon graduation from Kelly Field in October 1937. He was appointed a second lieutenant in the Regular Army Air Corps in October 1938.

Upon his initial assignment, Second Lieutenant Sutterlin began an extensive and varied flying career. Through the years, he has been at the controls of the PT-3, BT-2, BT-8, BT-9, P-12, DA-25, A-12, A-17, A-18, A-20, B-6, B-7, B-17, B-18, B-23, B-25, C-40, C-45, C-46, C-47, C-54, B-29, B-50, and C-130 aircraft.

In addition to his flying activities, Brigadier General Sutterlin has held staff positions in Strategic Air Command, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Headquarters U.S. Air Force and has commanded a bombardment group, a bombardment wing, and has had two tours as commander of an air division.

His staff positions include: deputy assistant and later assistant chief of staff, A-1, Headquarters SAC, August 1945- August 1947; chief, Officers’ Assignments and chief, Control Division, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, February 1948-January 1951; chief, Plans Division, Headquarters SAC, August 1953-January 1555; special assistant and later director of programs and assistant deputy chief of staff operations, Headquarters, USAFE, December 1955-October 1956; and deputy director of operations, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff/Operations, Headquarters USAFE, August 1957-June 1960.

Units which he has commanded include the 100th Bombardment Group, England, February 1945-June 1945; 376th Bombardment Wing, Barksdale Air Force Base, La., January 1951-August 1953; 2d Air Division, Dhahran, SaudiArabia, October 1956-August 1957; and the 839th Air Division, Sewart Air Force Base, Tenn.

Prior to commanding the 100th Bomb Group, Colonel Sutterlin served as Deputy A-3, Combat Crew Training, Headquarters 8th Air Force, at which time he was detailed as project officer for the U.S. Strategic Air Forces Europe Shuttle Bombing Project between England and Russia. Although trained in attack aircraft, Colonel Sutterlin found himself flying B-17 heavy bombers on combat missions. On four occasions his aircraft was damaged by flak.

While commander of the 100th Bomb Group, Colonel Sutterlin frequently flew lead aircraft for 8th Air Force bomber stream formations of as many as 1,500 aircraft. Also flying as air leader for division or combat wing formations, he compiled a total of 11 combat missions.

Brigadier General Sutterlin’s decorations include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, Air Medal with oak leaf cluster, Order of the British Empire, Croix de Guerre avec palm, and nine battle campaigns.


He died July 23, 1993 in St Petersburg, Florida. A 100th Commanding Officer in the later months of the war. Before coming to the 100th, he had an important job on General Spaatz’s staff in Paris. Not many of us knew this quiet, dignified man well, but he did his job effectively. We respected him. He continued his distinguished career after the war and rose to the rank of Brigadier General…..H.H. Crosby, Splasher 6.