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Former MAC Commander Dies: Retired Gen. Howell M. Estes Jr., who headed Military Airlift Command before his retirement in 1969, died July 2 from a heart ailment. He was 92. Estes graduated from West Point in 1936, serving as a cavalry officer before entering pilot training in 1939. From 1940 through 1945, he ran flying training at various Texas bases, and then served in staff and command positions before becoming vice commander of Far East Air Forces Bomber Command. Estes flew 25 combat missions in B-29 bombers during the Korean War. His career also included a stint as head of the Air Task Group for overseas atomic tests, and subsequently he became director of weapon systems operations in Air Research and Development Command. His next assignments were on the Air Staff and at Air Force Systems Command, where he served as vice commander before being selected to lead the Military Air Transport Service, which became MAC in 1966. One of his three sons is also a retired Air Force four-star, Gen. Howell M. Estes III, who commanded NORAD and US Space Command.