Retired Feb. 1, 1982.
Major General Charles Ellerbe Woods is commander of the Air Force Commissary Service at Kelly Air Force Base, Texas. The Commissary Service provides food and related merchandise to the Air Force community through the operation of retail stores and troop support activities Air Force-wide.
General Woods was born in 1927, in Milwaukee, N.C., and graduated from Conway High School in Conway, N.C., in 1944. He received a bachelor of science degree in business administration in 1950 from East Carolina University at Greenville, N.C., following an 18-month period of enlisted service with the U.S. Army Air Corps. While at East Carolina University he was selected for "Who's Who among Students in American Universities and Colleges." He earned his master's degree in business administration in 1954 from Golden Gate College in San Francisco. General Woods attended Squadron Officer School in 1958 and graduated from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in May of 1970.
After receiving his commission in the U.S. Air Force through the Reserve Officers' Training Corps program in 1950, General Woods completed basic and advanced flying training and was awarded his pilot wings in 1951. He then served in various assignments until 1960 as a jet fighter pilot, flight commander, aircraft maintenance officer, operations staff officer and as aide-de-camp to Major General Perry B. Griffith, commander, 836th Air Division.
From 1960 to 1963 General Woods was assigned as an operations staff officer and air operations officer at Norton Air Force Base, Calif. His next assignment was as a flight training instructor and operations officer with the 3525th Pilot Training Wing at Williams Air Force Base, Ariz. In 1965 he moved to Headquarters Air Training Command, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, as command protocol officer.
In 1966 General Woods received F-4 Phantom training at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. He was then assigned to Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, where he served as operations officer of the 433rd Tactical Fighter Squadron of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing. During his tour of duty in Southeast Asia, he flew 100 missions over North Vietnam, accumulating 237 combat hours.
He returned to the United States in 1967 as a congressional liaison officer with the Directorate of Legislative Liaison, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force. In 1970 he was named deputy commander for operations for the 3575th Pilot Training Wing at Vance Air Force Base, Okla. In March 1971 he assumed command of the wing.
General Woods was reassigned to Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, in June 1972 as commander of the 47th Flying Training Wing. He served in that position until his return to Thailand in July 1973 as vice commander of the Thirteenth Air Force Advanced Echelon at Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base. General Woods assumed command of the 56th Special Operations Wing at Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, in September 1973. In July 1974 he returned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force as chief of the Resources Division, Directorate of Programs. In May 1977 he became deputy director of programs. He was assigned as commander of the Commissary Service on Nov. 1, 1978.
He is a command pilot with more than 5,000 flying hours. His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with 11 oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster and the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award ribbon with oak leaf cluster.
General Woods was promoted to the grade of major general on Aug. 1, 1978, with date of rank of May 1, 1975.