18th Commanding General, PAF

06 April 1986- 24 February 1990


MAJ GEN JOSE L DE LEON AFP was born in Sampaloc, Manila on 13 Oct 1936 but grew up in Lipa, Batangas.

He finished his secondary education in Batangas and later entered the Philippine Military Academy where he graduated in 1958. He took up military pilot training at the Philippine Air Force Flying School in Fernando Air Base, Lipa City and graduated in 1960. He holds a Masters of Public Administration degree from the University of the Philippines that he completed in 1978.

General de Leon attended various military trainings including the Special Company Officer Course at Fort McKinley in 1958; T-33 Aircrew and Familiarization Course in Basa Air Base in 1960; Physiological Training in Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa, Japan in 1961; T-33 Jet Qualification Course in Basa Air Base in 1961; F-86F Aircrew Familiarization Course in Basa Air Base in 1961; F-86F Transition, Operational Readiness and Gunnery Training in Basa Air Base in 1962; Flying Training Orientation in Lackland Air Force Base, Texas in 1965; F-5 Advanced fighter Course in Williams Air Force Base, Arizona in 1965; Squadron Officers Course at Air Command and Staff College in 1968; Academic Instructor Course and Flight Safety Seminar at Air Force Officers School in 1970; and General Staff Course in Indonesian Command and General Staff School in 1972, among others.

When the Philippine Air Force sent its UN contingent in a peacekeeping mission to Congo, Africa, he was one of the fighter pilots that were dispatched with the 9th Tactical Fighter Squadron “Limbas”. He was the Wing Commander of the 5th Fighter Wing Advance Command Post from 1973-1974. A milestone in the Philippine Air Force fighter capability, he was selected to represent the Command to Dallas, Texas in 1980 to 1981 to observe the F-8H program of the Vought Corporation. Upon his return to the Philippines, he was named Air Force Inspector General on 29 January 1982. The following year he was again chosen as member of the Philippine Air Force evaluation team sent to Fort Worth, Texas to evaluate the F-16 aircraft and holds the distinction of being the 1st Filipino pilot to fly the American F-16 aircraft.

Major General de Leon was assigned in various positions such as Wing Commander of the 530th Air Base Wing from 16 January 1984 to 15 July 1985; Deputy Wing Commander of the 5th Fighter Wing from 16 July 1985 to 16 March 1986; and Deputy Base Commander of the Clark Air Base Command from 16 March to 07 October 1986; Wing Commander of the 5th Fighter Wing from 08 October 1986 to 05 April 1988; and finally as Commanding General of the Philippine Air Force from 06 April 1986 to 24 February 1990.

He is a recipient of various awards and decorations such as Distinguished Conduct Star, Distinguished Service Stars, Distinguished Aviation Cross, Philippine Legion of Honor Degree of Commander, Military Merit Medals, Mindanao-Sulu Campaign Medal, and UN-Congo Service Medal, among others.

Major General Jose L De Leon Jr AFP is married to the former Maria Julia del Prado of Pangasinan whom he has five children namely Jose III, Julius, Jonathan, John and Joyce.