Lieutenant General Charles "Buck" Pattillo
General Pattillo was born on June 3, 1924, in Atlanta Georgia.
He graduated from Georgia Technical High School in 1942 and
received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from
the University of Colorado in 1962, as well as a Masters
degree in international affairs from George Washington University
In November 1942, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps as an
aviation cadet. Following intensive training at various bases
in the southeastern training command, he received his pilot
wings and a commission as a Second Lieutenant in March 1944.
He next trained in the P-40 aircraft, then went to the European
Theatre of Operations where he flew combat missions with
the 352nd Fighter group, 8th Air Force. While with the 352nd
Group, he earned the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air
Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters.
Pattillo was released from active duty in December 1945
and enrolled in the Georgia school of technology. There,
he actively participated in the reserve military program,
flying P-47 aircraft with the 128th Fighter Squadron, 54th
Fighter Wing of the Georgia Air National Guard.
In February 1948, General Pattillo was recalled into active
military duty as a P-51 fighter pilot with the 31st Fighter
Group, Turner AFB, Georgia. Eleven months later, he was reassigned
to the 22nd Fighter Squadron, 36th Fighter Group, Furstenfeldbruck
Air Base, Germany.
While at Furstenfeldbruck, Pattillo assisted in organizing
the United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) aerial demonstration
team, the Skyblazers. He flew left wing and alternate
lead for the team as they demonstrated their aerial skills
in the F-80 and F-84 aircraft in more than 250 air shows
throughout Western Europe, North Africa, Greece, and Turkey.” He
was awarded the Legion of Merit for exceptionally meritorious
performance with the Skyblazers.
In August 1952, Pattillo was assigned to the air training
command’s 3600th combat crew training group at Luke
AFB, Arizona. In 1953, he helped organize then flew left
wing for the original US Air Force demonstration team, the Thunderbirds.
In February 1954, he returned to the 2600th combat crew training
group to become Squadron Operations Office Squadron Commander,
and then Group Operations Officer.
From July 1956 to August 1959, Pattillo served with the
336th and then the 401st Tactical Fighter wings, England
AFB, Louisiana, as a Tactical Squadron Commander. While at
England AFB, he flew the F-84F and the F-100D. His squadron
participated in numerous deployments to continental Europe
as elements of the composite air strike force and as a tactical
rotational squadron. From September 1959 to January 1962,
Pattillo attended the University of Colorado.
He was then transferred to Langley AFB, Virginia, as Chief
Jet Fighter, Reconnaissance Division, 4442nd standardization
and evaluation group, Headquarters Tactical Air Command.
In August 1964, he entered the US Army War College, Carlisle
Barracks, Pennsylvania and simultaneously studied at George
Washington University Graduate School.
In August 1965, General Pattillo went to Germany where he
was assigned to Headquarters, 17th Air Force, Ramstein Air
Base, as a Director of Operations and Training. In March
1967, he moved to Bitburg Air Base to command the 36th Tactical
Fighter Wing and was an F-4 Phantom Pilot. In March 1968,
he went to Southeast Asia where he assumed command of the
wing in July 1968. He flew 120 combat missions as an F-4
Pattillo went to Tinker AFB, Oklahoma, in July 1969 as Vice
Commander of the Oklahoma City material area. In November
1971, he was assigned duty as Deputy Director for Logistics
(J4), Organization of the Joint Chiefs.
He became commander of the Lowry Technical Training Center
at Lowry AFB, Colorado, in September 1973 and was appointed
Vice Commander in Chief, Pacific Air Forces, in September
Pattillo became Deputy commander in Chief, United States
Readiness Command, in March 1979. In October 1979,
he became Vice Director, joint deployment agency. In January
1980, he served as both Vice Director, Joint Deployment Agency
and Deputy Commander in Chief, United States Readiness Command.
General Pattillo is a Command Pilot. His military decorations
and awards include: the Distinguished Service Medal with
one oak leaf cluster; The Legion of Merit with three oak
leaf clusters; The Distinguished Flying Cross with one oak
leaf cluster; The Air Medal with ten oak leaf clusters; Army
Commendation Medal; Distinguished Unit Citation Emblem with
one oak leaf cluster; Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal,
Air Force Distinguished Service Order, Second Class, and
the French Croix de Guerre with Palm.
He was promoted to the grade of Lieutenant General in March
1979. He retired from active duty at MacDill AFB, Tampa Florida,
in June 1981. Pattillo and his wife, Bobbie, have four Children,
Deborah Ann, Cheri Leigh, Jon Scott, and Charles C. Jr.
While they lived in Florida for 25 years, the Pattillos
moved to Spotsylvania, VA to be closer to their two sons.