Military Bios

Brigadier General Charles E. Word:

Military Branch:United States Airforce
Retired June 1, 1975.  
Brigadier General Charles E. Word is deputy director for operations (National Military Command Center) in the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C.
General Word was born in 1924, in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from Murphy High School in 1941. He has a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from the University of Alabama, 1948, and is a graduate of the Air War College.
After one year of study at Auburn University, he entered military service in July 1943 as an aviation cadet and received his commission as a second lieutenant in March 1945. He then attended navigator-bombardier training and in March 1946 was relieved from active duty and enrolled in the University of Alabama.
General Word was recalled to active duty in August 1950 during the Korean War. He served with the 301st Bombardment Group at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., until May 1951 when he joined the Far East Air Forces in Korea. As a member of the 30th Bombardment Squadron, he flew on 38 missions with a total of 363 combat hours in B-29s.
In January 1952, General Word was transferred to Strategic Air Command and became a member of the 24th Bombardment Squadron at Walker Air Force Base N.M. He completed aircraft observer-navigator-bombardier training, in September 1953, and became an instructor at officer training school. In June 1955 he was assigned as a KC-97 pilot with the 321st Air Refueling Squadron at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
General Word was a B-47 pilot, wing gunnery officer, and aircraft commander with various SAC bombardment squadrons, from September 1956 to June 1965. He then was transferred to Headquarters Strategic Air Command at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., where he served in the Directorate of Operations as control officer in the Command Post Operations Section, and in 1966 became deputy commander, Standardization and Evaluation, for command post operations throughout SAC. He entered the Air War College in August 1967.
From November 1968 to March 1970, General Word was assigned to the 314th Tactical Airlift Wing at Ching Chuan Kang Air Base, Taiwan, as a C-130 pilot and became wing operations officer. He flew 127 combat missions with a total of 182 flying hours during the Vietnam Air Offensive Phase IV and the Tet 1969 Counteroffensive.
His next assignment was with the Office of the U.S. Air Force Inspector General at Norton Air Force Base, Calif., as deputy chief and later chief of the Effectiveness Branch. He assumed duties as vice commander of the 81st Tactical Fighter Wing at Royal Air Force Station Bentwaters, England, in May 1972, and became commander in August 1972.
General Word was transferred in May 1974 to the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, D.C., as deputy director for operations (National Military Command Center).
His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal and the Purple Heart.
He was promoted to the grade of brigadier general effective March 1, 1974, with date of rank Feb. 26, 1974.


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