Retired Oct. 1, 1980. Died Sep. 6, 2003.
Brigadier General Charles B. Knudson is chief, Air Force Section, Joint United States Military Mission for Aid to Turkey, with headquarters at Ankara, Turkey. General Knudson commands the U.S. Air Force Element of JUSMMAT. He plans, formulates, supervises and implements the Air Force aspects of the Security Assistance Program in Turkey.
General Knudson was born in Fargo, N.D., in 1925. He graduated from high school in Lovell, Wyo., in 1943 and received his bachelor of arts degree in economics in 1948 and his master's degree in business in 1962 from Stanford University, Calif.
He entered the U.S. Army in August 1943, received navigator training at Ellington and San Marcos fields, Texas, and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Forces April 5, 1945. He served as a B-24 navigator in England with the Eighth Air Force, completing 16 combat missions. He was released from active duty in November 1945.
General Knudson was recalled to active military duty in April 1949 to serve as an instructor at the Air Force Navigation School, Ellington Air Force Base, Texas. He entered pilot training at James Connally Air Force Base, Texas, in February 1951 and received his pilot wings at Vance Air Force Base, Okla., in March 1952. He was then assigned to the 55th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, McClellan Air Force Base, Calif., as a WB-29 pilot.
In July 1953 General Knudson was assigned to the Strategic Air Command as a B-29 aircraft commander and later as a KC-97 pilot in the 68th Bombardment Wing at Lake Charles Air Force Base, La. He also served as wing adjutant and commandant of the wing headquarters squadron.
In August 1955 General Knudson was transferred to the Far East, where he commanded two detachments of the 7th Aerial Port Squadron. He returned to Stanford University in July 1957 as an associate professor in the Air Force Reserve Officers' Training Corps program. After completing an Air Force Institute of Technology program, he returned to the Far East as manager of the Military Airlift Command aerial port at Tachikawa Air Base, Japan.
In May 1965 General Knudson was assigned to Hamilton Air Force Base, Calif., as operations officer for the 41st Air Rescue Squadron, which was equipped with HU-16B amphibious aircraft. In May 1968 he transferred to the Republic of Vietnam, assigned to the 39th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, Tuy Hoa Air Base and flew 96 aerial missions in HC-130 aircraft as an airborne rescue mission commander.
From July 1969 to September 1974, General Knudson served with Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., in the Directorate of Transportation, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Systems and Logistics, performing duties as chief, Plans and Programs Division, Air Force representative to the Joint Transportation Board Secretariat and deputy director of transportation.
In September 1974 General Knudson was assigned as assistant director for installations and logistics, National Security Agency/Central Security Service, Fort George G. Meade, Md.
From May 1976 to May 1979, he served as deputy chief of staff for air transportation, Military Airlift Command, Scott Air Force Base, Ill. He was responsible for establishing command policy, management controls and long-range plans for the command's air transportation function. General Knudson assumed his current position May 21, 1979.
General Knudson is a command pilot and navigator with more than 5,000 flying hours. His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with six oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal and the Combat Readiness Medal.
He was promoted to brigadier general Sept. 1, 1974, with date of rank Aug. 10, 1974.