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First Name: Charles

Last Name: Veach

Birthplace: Chicago, IL, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Air Force (1947 - present)

Middle Name: Lacy

Date of Birth: 18 September 1944

Date of Death: 03 October 1995

Rank: Colonel

Years Served:
Charles Lacy Veach

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Charles Lacy Veach
Colonel, U.S. Air Force
NASA Astronaut

Charles Lacy Veach was born on 18 September 1944 in Chicago, IL, to Mr. and Mrs. Marshall E. Veach.

Veach graduated from Punahou School, Honolulu, HI, in 1962 and he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Management from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1966.

Veach was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force upon graduation from the U.S. Air Force Academy. He received his pilot wings at Moody Air Force Base, GA, in 1967, and then attended fighter gunnery school at Luke Air Force Base, AZ. Over the next 14 years, he served as a USAF fighter pilot, flying the F-100 Super Sabre, the General Dynamics F-111, and the F-105 Thunderchief, on assignments in the U.S., Europe, and the Far East, including a 275-mission combat tour in the Republic of Vietnam. In 1976-77, he was a member of the USAF Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, flying the T-38 Talon. Veach left active duty in 1981, but continued to fly fighters as an F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot with the Texas Air National Guard. He had logged over 5,000 flying hours. His name still adorns the museum display F-16 Fighting Falcon just inside the front gate of the Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base in Houston, TX.

NASA Experience

Veach came to work for NASA in January 1982 as an engineer and research pilot at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. His primary duty was as an instructor pilot in the Shuttle Training Aircraft, the highly modified Gulfstream II used to train astronaut pilots to land the Space Shuttle.

Veach was selected as an Astronaut Candidate in May 1984, and became an Astronaut in June 1985. He held a variety of technical assignments, and had flown as a Mission Specialist on two Space Shuttle missions: STS-39 in 1991 and STS-52 in 1992. He had logged 436.3 hours in space. Most recently, Lacy had worked as the lead astronaut for the development and operation of robotics for the International Space Station.

On STS-39, Veach was responsible for operating a group of instruments which included an ultraviolet astronomical camera, an x-ray telescope, and a liquid helium-cooled infrared telescope which performed landmark observations of the earth's atmosphere and the Aurora Australis (the Southern Lights). The 8-day unclassified Department of Defense mission aboard the Orbiter Discovery launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on 28 April 1991 and landed at Kennedy on 6 May 1991.

STS-52 was a 10-day mission aboard the Orbiter Columbia during which the crew successfully deployed the Laser Geodynamic Satellite (LAGEOS), a joint Italian-American project. They also operated the first U.S. Microgravity Payload (USMP) with French and American experiments. Veach was the primary Remote Manipulator System (RMS) operator on the mission, supporting the initial flight tests of the Canadian-built Space Vision System (SVS). STS-52 launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on 22 October 1992 and landed at Kennedy on 1 November 1992.

Medals and Awards

Distinguished Flying Cross (3 Awards)
Air Medal (14 Awards)
Air Force Commendation Medal (2 Awards)
Purple Heart


Although Veach was born in Chicago, he considered Honolulu, HI, to be his hometown. Married to Alice Meigs Scott of Waycross, GA, they had two children. He enjoyed surfing, bicycling, reading and activities with his family. His parents resided in Honolulu.

Death and Burial

Colonel Charles Lacy Veach died in Houston, TX, on 3 October 1995 of cancer. He is buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, HI.

Honoree ID: 3172   Created by: MHOH




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