Bill Streett was born on October 6, 1893, in Washington, D.C. He enlisted in the Aviation Section of the U.S. Army Signal Corps for flight training on December 8, 1916, and was commissioned a 1st Lt in the Aviation Section of the Army Signal Corps on September 27, 1917. His first assignment was as an instructor pilot with the Aviation School at Issoudun, France, from October 1917 to August 1918, followed by service as Commanding Officer of the 138th Pursuit Squadron of the 5th Pursuit Group in France and on occupation duty in Germany from August 1918 to August 1919. He commanded the Alaskan Flying Expedition from July to October 1920, for which he was later awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Mackay Trophy. His next assignment was as Assistant to the Assistant Chief of the Air Service, Brig Gen Billy Mitchell, from October 1920 to July 1922, followed by service as Commanding Officer of the Headquarters Detachment at Bolling Field, Washington, D.C., from July 1922 to December 1923. Capt Streett served as Assistant Chief of the Airways Section in the Office of the Chief of the Air Corps from January 1924 to September 1925, and he then attended the Air Corps Tactical School at Langley Field, Virginia, from September 1925 to June 1926. His next assignment was as Commanding Officer of the 94th Pursuit Squadron and then as Commanding Officer of the 1st Pursuit Group Headquarters at Selfridge Field, Michigan, from August 1926 to March 1928, followed by service as a test pilot and Chief of the Flight Test Section at Wright Field, Ohio, from March 1928 to August 1932. He attended Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, from August 1932 to August 1933; Chemical Warfare School at Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland, from June to August 1934; and Army War College from August 1934 to June 1935. Lt Col Streett next served as a staff officer in the War Plans Division on the War Department General Staff in Washington, D.C., from June 1935 to June 1939, followed by Naval War College at Newport, Rhode Island, from June 1939 to June 1940. He served as Commanding Officer of the 11th Bomb Group at Hickam Field, Hawaii, from June 1940 to April 1941, and then as Plans and Training Officer for the Hawaiian Department at Fort Shafter, Hawaii, from April 1941 to February 1942. Gen Streett next served as Chief of Staff of Army Air Forces Combat Command at Bolling Field, Washington, D.C., from February to March 1942, followed by service as Chief of the Theater Group of the Operations Division in the Office of the Chief of Staff of the Army from March to December 1942. He served as Commanding General of 3rd Air Force at Tampa, Florida, from December 1942 to September 1943, and then as Commanding General of 2nd Air Force at Peterson Field, Colorado, from December 1943 to January 1944. His next assignment was as Commanding General of 13th Air Force in the Pacific Theater from February 1944 to February 1945, followed by service as Deputy Commanding General of Continental Air Forces at Bolling Field from March 1945 to April 1946. Gen Streett served as the first Deputy Commanding General of Strategic Air Command at Andrews Field, Washington, D.C., from April 1946 to December 1946, and then as Chief of the Military Personnel Procurement Service in the War Department at the Pentagon from January to June 1947. His next assignment was as Deputy Inspector General of the U.S. Air Force at the Pentagon from July 1947 to September 1949, followed by service as Deputy Commanding General of Air Material Command at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, from October 1949 until his retirement from the Air Force on March 1, 1952. Bill Streett died on September 28, 1970, and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. His wife, the former Mary Lois Williams, died on October 17, 1999, at age 104, and was buried with him.
His Distinguished Flying Cross Citation reads:
ST. CLAIR STREETT, Captain, Air Corps, then First Lieutenant, Air Service, United States Army. For extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight. As flight commander and pilot of one of the planes of the Alaskan Flying Expedition in a flight from Mitchel Field, N.Y., to Nome, Alaska, and return, from July 15, to October 20, 1920, he exhibited expert leadership, perseverance, fortitude and courage, and much credit is due him for the successful completion of this pioneer flight to Alaska.