Retired July 1, 1988.
Brigadier General Charles W. Bartholomew is vice commander, Air Force Communications Command, with headquarters at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. The major command engineers, installs, operates and maintains communications-electronics-meteorological equipment and facilities for the Air Force and selected government and civilian agencies. This encompasses the command and control communications and computer systems, air traffic control and navigational aid facilities, weather equipment, and Air Force standardized automatic data processing activities.
General Bartholomew was born in Moorhead, Minn., in 1936, where he graduated from high school in 1953. He earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry from North Dakota State University in 1957 and a master's degree in systems management through the Air Force Institute of Technology in 1973. The general graduated from Armed Forces Staff College in 1970 and the National War College in 1978.
Entering the U.S. Air Force in June 1957 with a commission as a second lieutenant through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program, General Bartholomew was awarded his pilot wings in January 1959 at Vance Air Force Base, Okla. After advanced flying training, he was assigned as an F-86D and F-102 interceptor pilot at Clark Air Base, Philippines.
From October 1961 to September 1964 he served at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., as an F-106 interceptor pilot, training officer, and standardization and evaluation officer. The general then was assigned to Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., training F-106 pilots for the Aerospace Defense Command. After completion of RF-4C training in 1968, he was assigned to the 12th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Republic of Vietnam, where he flew 169 combat missions. Upon returning to the United States in December 1969, he completed the Armed Forces Staff College and subsequently was assigned to the Air Force Inspection and Safety Center, Norton Air Force Base, Calif., as an operations inspector.
After attending the Air Force Institute of Technology, he was assigned as an analyst, study director and, later, chief, Office of External Affairs for the Assistant Chief of Staff, Studies and Analysis, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. During this tour of duty from December 1973 to June 1977, he specialized in reconnaissance and command and control studies. Upon graduation from the National War College in June 1978, he assumed command of the 26th Combat Support Group, Zweibrucken Air Base, West Germany. In June 1979 he became vice commander of the 26th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing at Zweibrucken.
In February 1980 General Bartholomew was assigned as assistant chief of staff, Air Operations Center, Allied Air Forces Central Europe, near Birkenfeld, West Germany, and served concurrently as senior U.S. Air Force representative at the center. The general became commander of the 513th Tactical Airlift Wing at Royal Air Force Station Mildenhall, England, in June 1981. In July 1983 he was assigned to the Cheyenne Mountain Complex, Colorado Springs, Colo., where he served as a command director, combat operations, for the North American Aerospace Defense Command. General Bartholomew became the assistant deputy chief of staff for operations, combat operations, for NORAD and the U.S. Air Force Space Command in August 1984. In December 1985 he was assigned as vice director for the North American Aerospace Defense Command combat operations staff, with headquarters at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. He assumed his present position in October 1986.
General Bartholomew is a command pilot with more than 3,900 flying hours, including more than 400 in combat. His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with nine oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal and Combat Readiness Medal.
He was promoted to brigadier general Aug. 1, 1983, with same date of rank.