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Charles E. Branshaw was born in Fairhaven, Va., in 1895. At the outbreak of the World War, he became a Flying cadet, with the rank of private first class on Aug. 15, 1917. Following graduation he was commissioned a first lieutenant in the Aviation Section of the Signal Corps Reserve. He vacated his appointment on Sept. 19, 1920, to enter the regular Army as a second lieutenant in the Air Service, his commission to rank from July 1, 1920.

His first military service was in the Colorado National Guard, in federal service, during the Mexican border crisis. He was mustered into service as a private in Battery A of the Colorado First Separate Field Artillery Battalion on June 19, 1916, and was mustered out on Sept. 16, 1916.

Prior to entering the flying school, General Branshaw was a student at the First Officer's Training Camp, Fort Riley, Kan., and following his graduation went to Belleville, Ill, where he completed ground and flying school. He sailed for France for duty with the American Expeditionary Forces on Feb. 16, 1918, and was designated as the Officer in Charge of Animal Transportation at Issoudun, France. In April 1919, he was assigned to the general mess officer at St. Nazaire, France, until July 1919. 

He returned to the United States on August 1919, and after a brief tour at Garden City, N.Y., was assigned as Supply Officer at Gerstner Field, La., later becoming station commander. He was shipping and receiving officer at the San Antonio Air Intermediate Depot, Kelly Field, Texas, between July 1921 and July 1923, when he became Assistant Engineering Officer at that field.

General Branshaw was Engineering Officer at Brooks Field, Texas between July 1924 and January 1929, when he returned to San Antonio Air Depot as the Chief Engineering Officer.

General Branshaw became Operations Officer, Chanute Field, Ill., on November 1931, remaining there until August 1934, when he enrolled in the Air Corps Tactical School, Maxwell Field, Ala., graduating in June 1935. He remained at that post as Assistant Engineering Officer until October 1935, then went to Luke Field, Hawaii, as Depot Engineering Officer until April 1936, and as Commanding Officer of the Hawaiian Air Depot at that field thereafter.

The general was the Executive Officer at the Sacramento Air Depot, Sacramento, Calif., between September 1938 and March 1939, when he was sent to the Douglas Aircraft Plant, Santa Monica, Calif., representing the Army Air Corps. On December 1940, he was assigned to duty as supervisor, Western Air Corps Procurement District, Santa Monica, Calif.

His decorations included the Distinguished Service Medal and the Legion of Merit.

First Lieutenant July 1, 1920
Captain Oct. 1, 1930
Major June 12, 1939
Lieutenant Colonel Oct. 15, 1941
Colonel (temporary) Nov. 15, 1941
Brigadier General (temporary) May 24, 1942.

(Up to date as of May 1942)


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