Retired July 31, 1964.
Charles Hoffman Pottenger was born in Oklahoma City in 1911. He entered Peekskill Military Academy in 1924 and was a student there until receiving his appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in July 1929.
At West Point Cadet Pottenger starred on the lacrosse team and was an all-American for three successive years from 1931-33. He learned the grueling Indian-originated game while at Peekskill.
After receiving his degree and commission as an infantry second lieutenant in June 1933, the young officer entered flying training in Texas and received his wings at Kelly Field in October 1934. He now holds command pilot rating.
The same month Lieutenant Pottenger was sent to Hawaii as a member of the 72nd Bomb squadron at Luke Field.
Returning to the U.S. in February 1937, he spent the next five years in flying training assignments at Kelly, Brooks and Ellington fields, Texas.
In November 1942, now a lieutenant colonel, Pottenger joined the 12th Air Force in North Africa. Two years later he became assistant chief of staff for operations and also served as director of operations for the Mediterranean Allied Tactical Air Force in Italy.
Ordered to Air Corps Headquarters, Washington, D.C., in June 1945, Colonel Pottenger was assigned to the Plans Division and became chief of the European Branch, Plans and Operations, War Department General Staff the following year. This assignment led to an appointment as air attache to Switzerland in November 1947.
He returned to Washington in June 1951 to attend the National War College. Following his graduation a year later he was assigned in the Policy Division of the Plans Directorate. In July 1953 he was named deputy Air Force member of the Joint Strategic Plans Committee.
Promotion to brigadier general came Oct. 5, 1954, and the following April he became chief of the War Plans Division under the deputy for operations.
Moving to Japan in June 1956, General Pottenger was first assigned as deputy for Personnel and Administration at Far East Air Force Headquarters, Fuchu Air Station. In this capacity be served as FEAF representative on the U.S./Japan Joint Committee which monitors all matters pertaining to U.S. military forces in Japan under terms of the peace treaty.
General Pottenger assumed his assignment as commander of the 315th Air Division (Combat Cargo), Tachikawa Air Base, Japan, July 1, 1957.
He is currently vice commander, Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
During his 25 years of active service, General Pottenger has been awarded the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and the Air Medal with oak leaf cluster. His foreign decorations include the Order of the British Empire and the Polish Order of Valor.
OPINIONS, TASTES AND EVALUATIONS
Steak and potato man; conservative dresser, preferring dark solid color suits.
Enjoys historical novels and occasionally "who-done-its" favors classical and semi-classical music - does not like rock and roll; interested in antiques and has acquired Louis XIV furniture, porcelains, and Japanese silk screens; next to America likes Europe, prefers temperate climate such as Southern California.
Expects his commanders and staff to perform all jobs to the best of their ability without being told how.
Low-handicap golfer (currently three handicap); former all-American lacrosse player at USMA 1931-33; enjoys all spectator sports.
Member Tachikawa Union Club, an international group of U.S. and Japanese. Club meets monthly at different locations to present interesting aspects of American or Japanese culture or customs; Religious preference Episcopalian.