Richard H. Carmichael, 70, a retired Air Force major general who was a decorated combat veteran of both World War II and the Korean conflict, died April 14 at Walter Reed Army Hospital after a heart attack. He lived in Washington.
He was pilot of one of the B-17s (Flying Fortresses) that had flown from the mainland United States and landed near Pearl Harbor the day it was attacked by Japanese forces. These B-17s, which for that flight were largely unarmed, had to dodge attacks from both the Japanese and American defending forces.
Later in the war, Gen. Carmichael, then a major, served for a time on the staff of Gen. MacArthur and commanded a bomb group in the Southwest Pacific. He took part in raids on New Guinea and flew against the Japanese stronghold of Rabaul. In 1944, he was shot down over Japan and was a prisoner of war for more than a year.
In 1950 he was named commander of the 98th Bomb Group, and flew combat missions over Korea during that war. He later served as head of the Far Eastern Bomber Command. At the time that he retired from active duty in 1961 he was commandant of the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama.
His decorations included the Distinguished Service Cross, the Legion of Merit, the Silver Star Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Air Medal.
Gen. Carmichael was a native of Hillsboro, Tex., and a 1936 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Survivors include his wife, Muriel, of Washington; four sons, Army Capt. Richard Carmichael, who is stationed in West Germany, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Scott Carmichael, based in Charleston, S.C., Bruce of Houston, and Robin of Bethesda; two brothers, Dodson and Jack, both of Texas, and seven grandchildren.