Major General Charles Rankin Bond Jr. is commander of Twelfth Air Force, Waco, Texas. As commander he is responsible for the overall training and combat readiness of tactical fighter, airlift and reconnaissance units west of the Mississippi River.
General Bond was born in Dallas, Texas in 1915. He began his military career in July 1932 when he enlisted in the Texas National Guard. He entered the Aviation Cadet Program in March 1938 and was commissioned and received his pilot wings in February 1939 at Randolph Field, Texas.
He left the service in September 1941 to join the Flying Tigers, an American Volunteer Group in China, commanded by General Claire Chennault. While a member of the Flying Tigers, General Bond was credited with the destruction of nine Japanese planes; was shot down twice in combat; and was awarded two Chinese medals: The Fifth Order of the Cloud Banner and The Seven Star Wing Medal.
General Bond returned to the United States and in October 1942 he rejoined the Army Air Corps. A year later he became chief of the Air Division, U.S. Military Mission to the U.S.S.R. in Moscow.
In 1947 General Bond entered Texas A&M University under the U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology program and graduated in 1949 with a bachelor of science degree in management engineering. He next served as chief of the Current Operations Division at Headquarters Air Defense Command, Mitchel Air Force Base, N.Y. In 1949 he was appointed chief of the Air Defense Plans Branch, Director of Plans, Organization and Requirements, Headquarters Continental Air Command. He attended the Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., in 1951.
From 1951 to 1954 General Bond served at Pepperrell Air Force Base, Newfoundland, as director of Air Defense and then as deputy for operations, Headquarters Northeast Air Command and as commander of the 64th Air Division (NEAC).
In July 1954 he went to Ent Air Force Base, Colo., as assistant deputy chief of staff for operations at Continental Air Defense Command Headquarters, and in October 1956 he was assigned to Headquarters Air Defense Command, also at Ent, as assistant deputy chief of staff for operations. In September 1957 he was named commander of the 25th Air Division, McChord Air Force Base, Wash., and in August 1959 was assigned as commander of the 28th Air Division, Hamilton Air Force Base, Calif.
In October 1960 he assumed duties as deputy commander, Headquarters Fifth Allied Tactical Air Force, Vicenza, Italy, a component of Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe. He returned to the United States in August 1963 and became deputy commander of Ninth Air Force at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C. In January 1966 General Bond went to Thailand to become deputy commander of the 2d Air Division, Thirteenth Air Force, Pacific Air Forces, and in April 1966 he became the deputy commander of Seventh/Thirteenth Air Force in Thailand.
In July 1967 General Bond assumed duties as commander of the Twelfth Air Force in Waco, Texas.
His decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Army Commendation Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross (British), Order of the Southern Cross (Brazilian), Fifth Order of the Cloud Banner (Chinese), and the Seven Star Wing Medal (Chinese).
(Current as of Oct. 15, 1967)