Rank Insignia Previous Honoree ID Next Honoree ID

honoree image
First Name: Charles

Last Name: McDonald

Birthplace: Barron, WI, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Air Force (1947 - present)

Middle Name: Clarence

Date of Birth: 01 October 1933

Rank: General

Years Served: 1956-1992
Charles Clarence McDonald

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Charles Clarence McDonald

General, U.S. Air Force

Charles Clarence McDonald was born on 1 October 1933 in Barron, WI, where he graduated from Barron High School in 1951. He then earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Wisconsin in 1956 and a Master of Arts degree in Education from the Inter-American University of San German, Puerto Rico, in 1966.

In August 1956, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program. He entered active service in June 1957 and completed pilot training in July 1958. From August 1958 until November 1961, he was a B-47 co-pilot at McConnell AFB, KS, and Mountain Home AFB, ID.

McDonald volunteered for the B-52 program and after completing combat crew training in March 1962, was assigned to the 319th Bombardment Wing at Grand Forks AFB, ND. There he was a B-52H co-pilot, Aircraft Commander and Instructor Pilot. In 1963, he was a distinguished graduate of Squadron Officer School. In June 1965, he transferred to the 72nd Bombardment Wing, Ramey AFB, Puerto Rico, as a Wing Standardization Evaluator.

He served as a Command Briefer at Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt AFB, NE, from June 1968 to May 1971. McDonald then began OV-10 training as a Forward Air Controller (FAC) and was assigned to the 20th Tactical Air Support Squadron at Da Nang Air Base, Republic of Vietnam, as Squadron Operations Officer.

Returning to the U.S., he entered the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, AL, graduating as a distinguished graduate in May 1973. He next was assigned as a B-52 Operations Planner at Headquarters 7th Air Force, Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, where he was responsible for coordinating all B-52 air strikes in Southeast Asia. After the cease-fire, he conducted a series of inspections for the Defense Attache Office in Saigon, Republic of Vietnam, and the Vietnamese Air Force.

In May 1974, he was assigned to the Concepts Division, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, DC. There he developed a number of future planning tools, including Air Force long-range capability objectives, use of simulation in battle-staff training, refinement of net assessment as an aid to decision-making and mission area analysis in budget planning.

Additionally, he helped direct an inter-agency airborne warning and control system task force, integrating it into U.S. forces and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization community. In March 1978, he returned to operational duties as Assistant Deputy Commander for Operations, 28th Bombardment Wing, Ellsworth AFB, SD. He subsequently was appointed Deputy Commander for Operations, then Vice Commander.

From August 1979 to February 1981, McDonald was Commander of the 320th Bombardment Wing, Mather AFB, CA. Under his command, the Wing won the Fairchild Trophy, awarded to the top bomber wing in the Strategic Air Command for combined bombing and navigational excellence. He then transferred to March AFB, CA, as Commander of the 22nd Bombardment Wing. In July 1982, he became Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters 15th Air Force, also at March.

He was Vice Commander of the Ogden Air Logistics Center, Hill AFB, UT, from July 1983 to October 1984. He then went to AFLC headquarters as Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Programs, and in December 1985 became Chief of Staff. In August 1987, he became Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics and Engineering at Air Force Headquarters in Washington.

On 1 November 1989, McDonald was promoted to the four-star rank of General and assumed duty as Commander, Air Force Logistics Command (COMAFLC).

General McDonald retired from the Air Force on 30 June 1992. During his service, he became a Command Pilot with over 4,600 flying hours.

Medals and Awards

Distinguished Service Medal

Legion of Merit (2 Awards)

Bronze Star Medal

Meritorious Service Medal

Air Medal (2 Awards)

Air Force Commendation Medal

Combat Readiness Medal


Command Pilot Badge

Honoree ID: 783   Created by: MHOH




Honoree Photos

honoree imagehonoree imagehonoree image

honoree imagehonoree image

honoree image