The new Air Force Chief of Staff, General Thomas D. (Tommy) White, is a fighting man who can speak eight languages and tie his own trout flies. He has kept his vocation and his avocation in good balance ever since West Point. As an assistant military attaché in Russia in 1934, for instance, Tommy White not only learned the language extremely well, but he fished all the available streams. He did the same in China, Italy, Greece and Brazil.
Son of an Episcopal minister, General White was born in lake-studded Minnesota 56 years ago. He graduated from the Point in 1920 and transferred to the air arm in 1924. During World War II, White alternated between command and staff assignments (including a tour of duty as intelligence chief of the air force), fought in New Guinea and the Philippines with the 13th Air Force and was commanding officer of the 7th for the final and decisive Central Pacific push against Japan.
General and Mrs. White are now quartered at Fort Myer, Va., and he does much of his fishing in the nearby streams of Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. But he takes his rod on Air Force business trips in case the opportunity arises to test in new streams the flies he makes himself with all the ingenuity and inventiveness a dedicated fisherman can apply to feathers, fur, thread, hooks and glue.