Rank Insignia Previous Honoree ID Next Honoree ID

honoree image
First Name: Charles

Last Name: Donnelly

Birthplace: Barberton, OH, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Air Force (1947 - present)

Middle Name: Lawthers

Date of Birth: 24 August 1929

Date of Death: 03 July 1994

Rank: General

Years Served:
Charles Lawthers Donnelly, Jr.


Charles Lawthers Donnelly, Jr.

General, U.S. Air Force

Charles Lawthers Donnelly, Jr. was born on 24 August 1929 in Barberton, OH. Donnelly graduated from Otterbein College in Westerville, OH, in 1950. He then joined the Air Force as an aviation cadet.

In the 1950s, he flew F-51s and F-86s for the 431st Fighter-Interceptor Squadron at Selfridge Air Force Base in Michigan and what was then Wheelus Air Base in Libya.

After serving in assignments as an instructor, operations officer and aide-de-camp, he was stationed at the 555th Tactical Fighter Squadron at the Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base in 1966. As a Flight Commander, Major Donnelly flew 100 combat missions over North Vietnam and 27 missions over Laos.

Upon his return to the U.S., he was stationed at Air Force Headquarters in Washington, DC. He was then assigned as Chief of the U.S. Training Mission to Saudi Arabia. In that capacity he oversaw the American security-assistance and military sales programs in Saudi Arabia. He also coordinated all Department of Defense activities in that country. Donnelly was then assigned as Commander of the Fifth Air Force and U.S. Forces in Japan, based at Yokota Air Base in Japan. He was in charge of U.S. Forces both in Japan and South Korea.

On 1 November 1984, Donnelly was promoted to the rank of four-star General and assigned as Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Air Forces in Europe (CINCUSAFE) and Commander, Allied Air Forces Central Europe (COMAAFCE), at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

General Donnelly retired from the Air Force in 1987. During his service he became a Command Pilot with over 8,000 hours of flight time, in 38 types of aircraft. He also earned the Master Missileman Badge.

While in the Air Force, he obtained a Master's degree in Public Administration from George Washington University. He also graduated from the Squadron Officer School, the Air Command and Staff College, the Air War College, and the Royal College of Defense Studies in London.

Medals and Awards

Distinguished Service Medal

Defense Superior Service Medal

Legion of Merit (3 Awards)

Distinguished Flying Cross

Air Medal (13 Awards)


Command Pilot
Master Missileman Badge

Death and Burial

General Charles Lawthers Donnelly, Jr., a resident of Arlington, VA, died of cancer on 3 July 1994 at the Malcolm Grow Medical Center at Andrews AFB, MD. He was 64. Donnelly is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, in Section 7A, 0, 70.

General Donnelly was survived by his wife of 42 years, Carolyn Vandersall Donnelly, Colonel, U.S. Army, Retired.; a daughter, Linda E. Wieland of Fredericksburg, VA; two sisters, Susan Hartfield of Columbus, OH, and Margaret Bischoff of Antioch, IL, and two grandchildren.

Carolyn Vandersall Donnelly died on 14 April 1999 and is buried next to her husband.

Honoree ID: 706   Created by: MHOH




Honoree Photos

honoree imagehonoree imagehonoree image

honoree imagehonoree image

honoree image