Retired May 1, 1987. Died July 3, 1994.
General Charles L. Donnelly Jr. is commander in chief, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, and commander, Allied Air Forces Central Europe, with headquarters at Ramstein Air Base, West Germany.
General Donnelly was born in 1929, in Barberton, Ohio, and graduated from Jackson Township High School, Grove City, Ohio, in 1946. He received a bachelor of arts degree in history and government at Otterbein College, Westerville, Ohio, in 1950 and a master's degree in public administration from The George Washington University, Washington, D.C., in 1964. He is a graduate of Squadron Officer School, Air Command and Staff College, and the Air War College. General Donnelly graduated from the Royal College of Defence Studies in London, in 1972.
He entered the U.S. Air Force in January 1951 as an aviation cadet, graduating as a pilot from Vance Air Force Base, Okla., in March 1952 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. He completed air defense combat crew training at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., in August 1952 and was assigned to the 431st Fighter-Interceptor Squadron at Selfridge Air Force Base, Mich., flying F-51s and F-86Fs. In June 1953 General Donnelly moved with his squadron to Wheelus Air Base, Libya. He was assigned as a jet pilot instructor and assistant operations officer for the U.S. Air Force Academy Operations Squadron at Lowry Air Force Base, Colo., in May 1956. From January 1961 to August 1963 he served as aide-de-camp to the commander, Air Training Command, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas.
After completing Air Command and Staff College in 1964, General Donnelly was assigned to Squadron Officer School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., as an instructor and later as executive officer for the director of student operations. Combat crew training in F-4C's at George Air Force Base, Calif., in July 1966 preceded his assignment in November 1966 to the 555th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand. During the next eight months, he flew 100 combat missions over North Vietnam and 27 over Laos. In September 1967 he was assigned as an action officer in the Directorate of Doctrine, Concepts and Objectives, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
From January 1971 to January 1972 General Donnelly attended the Royal College of Defence Studies and then transferred to Torrejon Air Base, Spain, where he served as assistant deputy commander for operations and deputy commander for operations before becoming vice commander of the 401st Tactical Fighter Wing in September 1972. He assumed command of the wing in November 1973.
In August 1975 General Donnelly was assigned as special assistant to the deputy chief of staff for plans and operations at Air Force headquarters, and in May 1976 he become deputy director of plans and policy. Three months later he was assigned as deputy director of plans in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans and Operations.
He became commander of Sheppard Technical Training Center, Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, in January 1978 and in July 1979 he was named chief of the U.S. Military Training Mission to Saudi Arabia. He was responsible for implementing the United States security assistance and foreign military sales programs in Saudi Arabia as well as managing training assistance provided to Saudi Arabian armed forces and was the coordinating authority for all Department of Defense activities assigned to that country.
In August 1981 General Donnelly became the commander of U.S. Forces, Japan, and 5th Air Force, with headquarters at Yokota Air Base, Japan. As commander of U.S. Forces, Japan, he was the senior U.S. military representative in Japan. As commander of the 5th Air Force, he commanded U.S. Air Force units in Japan and the Republic of Korea. He assumed his present duties in August 1984.
The general is a command pilot with more than 8,000 flying hours in 38 different aircraft. His military decorations and awards include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal; Distinguished Service Medal; Defense Superior Service Medal; Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters; Distinguished Flying Cross; Air Medal with 12 oak leaf clusters; Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster; King Abdulaziz Badge, Second Grade (Saudi Arabia); Order of National Security Merit, Gugseon Medal (Republic of Korea); and the First Class Order of the Sacred Treasure (Japan).
He was promoted to general Nov. 1, 1984, with same date of rank.