AJOR GENERAL HAROLD RAYMOND VAGUE Major General Harold R. Vague, former Judge Advocate General of the Air Force, passed away at the age of 86 on February 19, 2007. General Vague was born in 1920, in Ellsworth, Kansas, where he was raised during the Great Depression and dust bowl days. He left Kansas at the age of 17, and attended the University of Colorado, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history in 1942. In March 1942, during his first year of law school, he entered active military service, eventually entering aviation cadet training. During World War II, General Vague served as a B-17 aircraft navigator in England, flying 25 combat missions in the 388 bomb Group of the Eighth Air Force in the European theater of Operations. He later served with the 27th Air Transport Group in England and Paris, France, returning to the United States in June 1946 after 34 months of overseas service. In 1947, General Vague returned to law school at the University of Colorado, graduating in 1949 with a bachelor of laws degree. While attending law school, he married Virginia McCandless, of Portland, Colorado, and started a family. General Vague was assigned in 1955 to the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado, where he proudly became a member of the original founding faculty as an associate professor of law. He remained at the academy until 1959, serving as both associate professor and assistant staff judge advocate. After tours of duty in Guam, Washington D.C., California and Hawaii, General Vague returned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force in August 1971, to assume the duties as Assistant Judge Advocate General. The President appointed him the Judge Advocate General in 1973, a post in which he served until his retirement in 1977. During his tenure as Judge Advocate General, he presided over a renovation of the military justice system, creating the Area Defense Counsel and the Preventive Law and Legal Aid Group, integrating enlisted and Reserve components into the department, pushing for more professional training, and ushering in the use of computer technology in management and legal research. His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, and the Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster. Following his retirement, General Vague opened a private law practice in 1978, in Denver, Colorado, where he enjoyed the practice of civil and criminal law for 15 years. In 1993, General Vague and his wife, Virginia, moved to Air Force Village West, in Riverside, California, to be near his children, Russell Vague and Michele Vague La Berge. Through out his life, General Vague dedicated himself to his country, to the Air Force, to the noble profession of law, and to his family. Memorial Service, March 9, 2007, 9:30 a.m. at Air Force Village West, convocation center, with a graveside service, with full military honors, to follow at Riverside National Cemetery, Assembly Area #2, 2:15 p.m. Preston and Simons Mortuary Directors
Published in the Press-Enterprise on 3/8/2007.