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Brig. Gen. Arthur P. Tesner, USAF, Retired

Arthur P. Tesner


Brig. Gen. Arthur P. Tesner was born in Detroit, Michigan on May 22, 1930 and graduated from Henry Ford Trade School in Dearborn in 1947.

Following high school, he enrolled in Ford Motor Co. Engineering Design School and two years later enlisted in the Michigan Air National Guard. His Ford and military careers remained entwined for 33 years.

The Ford experience included detail drafting, design layout, engineering and several supervisory and management positions. It also included a nine-year stint at an assembly plant in Louisville, KY.

Gen. Tesner's military experience includes a period from 1951 through mid-1952 on active duty as a sergeant aircraft crew chief. In 1954, he returned to active duty to enter pilot training. He earned his wings flying the PA-18, AT-6, T-28 and the T-23 aircraft. He received his wings in 1955 at Williams Air Force Base in Phoenix, Arizona where, 30 years later, his son Peter earned his wings.

On Gen. Tresner's return to the Guard, he flew F-86, T-33, C-45, B-25, F-89 and the F-84 aircraft and became a captain. In 1964, when ford sent him to Louisville, he transferred to the Kentucky Air National Guard and flew RB-57, F-101 and C-54s. this unit was called to active duty in 1968 for 18 months during the Pueblo crisis and served in Alaska, Panama, Japan and Korea. On his return from active duty, he was promoted to major in the Kentucky Air National Guard.

In 1974, Ford transferred Gen. Tesner to the engineering staff in Dearborn and he transferred back to the Michigan Air Guard as a lieutenant colonel.
Named vice wing commander, he was promoted to colonel. In 1983 he retired from Ford and became assistant Adjutant General for the Michigan Air National Guard, Department of Military Affairs with the rank of brigadier general.

Gen. Tesner held an aeronautical rating of command pilot with approximately 4,000 flying hours. He was an active member of several military and aviation organizations. Gen. Tesner passed away on October 11, 1999.

Brig. Gen. Arthur P. Tesner was enshrined into the Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame on October 6, 2001.

Smithsonian Institution Affiliations Program