Retired July 31, 1953. Died April 1, 1966.
Charles Yankey Banfill was born at Banifay, Fla., in 1897. From July 1916 to February 1917 he served as a private in the First Field Artillery, Louisiana National Guard. Again mustered into federal service in June 1917 he served as an enlisted man with the First Field Artillery of the Louisiana National Guard, 141st Field Artillery, and 114th Trench Mortar Battalion. Assigned to the School of Military Aeronautics at the University of Texas in November 1917, he completed the course the following January and went to Kelly Field, Texas, for training in pursuit flying.
Appointed a second lieutenant in the Signal Reserve in March 1918, General Banfill was assigned as an instructor at Camp Dick, Texas, going to Gorstner Field, La., a month later. From September 1918 to July 1919 he served as an instructor at Carlstrom Field, Fla., and then joined the Fourth Aero Squadron at Mitchel Field, N.Y. Going to Hawaii in January 1920 he served with the Fourth Observation Squadron at Luke Field, joining the 21st Balloon Company at Fort Kamehameha that October, and becoming assistant to the Hawaiian Department officer in June 1922.
Entering the Air Corps Technical School at Chanute Field, Ill., in March 1923, General Banfill graduated that November and joined the 24th Photo Section at Brooks Field, Texas, later becoming a flying instructor there. From July 1927 to May 1928 he was at Duncan Field, Texas in charge of filming the motion picture "Flying Cadet", and then returned to Brooks Field. Two months later he went to Logan Field, Md., as an instructor of air units for the 29th Division of the Maryland National Guard.
Entering the Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwell Field, Ala., in August 1934, General Banfill graduated the following June, and a year later he graduated from the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. He was then ordered to Washington, D.C., for duty with the Operations Section, Office of the Chief of Air Corps, on Air Corps photo-mapping. In August 1938 he took part in the Army flight to Colombia, South America. Entering the Army War College in September 1939, he graduated the following June and was assigned for duty in the Office of the Chief of Air Corps.
Assigned as Air Corps representative with the Engineer Board at Fort Belvoir, Va., in July 1940, during that October and November General Banfill attended a special course in assault operation technique at the Engineer School there. In January 1941 he became chief of the Geographic Section, Military Intelligence Division, War Department General Staff, and in June 1942 he was appointed commandant of the Military Intelligence Training Center at Camp Richie, Md.
Going to the European theater in February 1945 General Banfill was director of intelligence for the 325th Photo Wing, Eighth Air Force. He was assigned to the Office of the Assistant Chief of Air Staff for Intelligence at Air Force Headquarters that August, and in February 1940 he was assigned to Headquarters, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, at Wiesbaden, Germany. In November 1947 he was appointed commandant of the Armed Forces Staff College at Norfolk, Va.
Ordered to the Far East in July 1950, General Banfill was chief of staff of the 20th Air Force at Kadena Air Force Base, Okinawa, becoming deputy for intelligence at Far East Air Forces Headquarters, Tokyo, Japan, the following month.
After being a patient at Walter Reed Army Hospital, Washington, D.C. for a month, in February 1953 General Banfill was named Special Assistant to the Director of Intelligence at Air Force Headquarters, becoming Director of Intelligence that May.
His decorations include the Legion of Merit, and he is rated a command pilot, combat observer and aircraft observer.
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
He received his Regular Army commission as second lieutenant in the Air Service July 1, 1920, and that same date was promoted to first lieutenant; was promoted to captain (permanent) Oct. 1, 1931; to major (temporary) June 16, 1936; to major (permanent) Aug. 15, 1939; to lieutenant colonel (temporary) Dec. 30, 1940; to lieutenant colonel (permanent) Dec. 18, 1941; to colonel (temporary) Jan. 5, 1942 to brigadier general (temporary) Feb. 22, 1944; to colonel (permanent) April 2, 1948.