Charles Clarence McDonaldOctober 1, 1933 ~ November 22, 2017 (age 84)
General Charles C. McDonald age 84 of Niceville, FL, passed away 22 Nov 2017 at home. He was a retired Air Force General with 35 years of service, a dedicated member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Niceville, and an avid reader, chess player, and recreational sailor. Above all, Charles was a devoted husband who enjoyed spending time with his sweetheart of 61 years, wife Lucile McDonald.
In addition to Lucile, he is survived by two children, Judy Smidt (Ron) and Michael McDonald, 4 grandchildren, Jennifer Smartt (Matt), Heather Smidt (Nick), Lauren and Sean McDonald, and 3 great grandchildren, Evan Smartt, Charlotte Hasty, and Ronan Zagami. They will all miss him dearly.
Charles retired from the Air Force in 1992 as the commander of Air Force Logistics Command, with headquarters at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
Charles was born in 1933, in Barron, WI to Clarence and Coral McDonald. He graduated from Barron High School in 1951. He 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. He was a distinguished graduate of both Squadron Officer School in 1963 and Air War College in 1973.
In August 1956, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program. The general 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 Air Force Base, Kan., and Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho.
Charles volunteered for the B-52 program assined to the 319th Bombardment Wing at Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D. There he was a B-52H co-pilot, aircraft commander and instructor pilot. In June 1965, he transferred to the 72nd Bombardment Wing, Ramey Air Force Base, Puerto Rico, as a wing standardization evaluator.
He served as a command briefer at Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., from June 1968 to May 1971, then began OV-10 training as a forward air controller 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 United States, he entered Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., graduating 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.
In May 1974, Charles was assigned to the Concepts Division, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
In March 1978 he returned to operational duties as assistant deputy commander for operations, 28th Bombardment Wing, Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D and was appointed deputy commander for operations, then vice commander.
From August 1979 to February 1981 Charles was commander of the 320th Bombardment Wing, Mather Air Force Base, Calif. 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. The general then transferred to March Air Force Base, Calif., 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.
Charles was vice commander of the Ogden Air Logistics Center, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, 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. He was promoted to general Nov. 1, 1989 and assumed command of Air Force Logistics Command.
Charles was a command pilot with more than 4,600 flying hours. His military awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Force Commendation Medal and Combat Readiness Medal.
A visitation will be held on Monday, November 27, 2017 from 4:00-6:00 pm at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Niceville, Fl. A funeral service will be held on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 at 9:00 am at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Niceville, Fl with burial to follow at Barrancas National Cemetery at 12:00 pm with full military honors.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to St. Paul Lutheran Church, 1407 E John Sims Pkwy, Niceville, FL 32578
Expressions of love and sympathy may be placed and viewed at www.mclaughlintwincities.com