COLORADO SPRINGS -- Retired Air Force Major General Arthur G. Salisbury, who commanded American fighters in one of the legendary air battles of World War II in Europe, has died at the age of 88.
Mr. Salisbury led the 57th Fighter Group in the battle known as ''The Palm Sunday Massacre," in which 76 German transport planes and 13 fighters were shot down. He was shot down three times during the war.
Mr. Salisbury had suffered a number of debilitating ailments over the past two decades and died March 20, said a longtime friend, retired Chief Master Sergeant Ellis ''Joe" Joseph.
''He had a great sense of humor, but he was a no-nonsense kind of guy," said Joseph, who met Mr. Salisbury when the general commanded the air defense sector that protected New York and other major cities.
In 1963, Mr. Salisbury served for a year in Colorado Springs as director of operations for the North American Aerospace Defense Command. He was promoted to major general in 1964 and was assigned to the Pentagon before returning to Colorado as deputy chief of staff for the Air Defense Command.
Before retiring in 1974, he commanded US Southern Command Air Forces in Panama.
Mr. Salisbury was preceded in death by his wife of 55 years, Nancy. They had no children.