Charles Wilbur Hammond – Colonel, United States Air Force

Courtesy of the United States Military Academy:

Charles W. Hammond, Number 17499
9 September 1926 – 31 May 1991
Died in Fairfax, Virginia
Interred in Arlington National Cemetery


Charles “Chuck” Wilbur Hammond was born in Terre Haute, Indiana. He attended elementary and secondary schools in California, and during 1944-46 he enlisted in the Navy and the Army. It was from the Army’s preparatory school at Amherst College and Fort Benning that he received his appointment to the United States Military Academy and he entered with the Class of 1950 in July 1946.

Chuck was my closest friend at West Point. We remained special friends after graduation, although our paths did not cross often. I always will miss him in a special way – his annual birthday cards; and the way that he, Marj, and my wife, Barbara, and I would fall back into an easy closeness at reunions as if we had never been separated. But that was Chuck. He faced even the smallest personal responsibilities
with the same sense of dedication that most of us reserve for our most important professional duties.

Chuck and I first became close friends during our Yearling summer at Buckner when we were on the engineering detail together and had the rare privilege of having our very own jeep for our travels. We laughed a lot and took full advantage of our “convertible.” More than once, Chuck’s sense of humor was a great comfort to me.

Chuck had an excellent West Point record. He did well in academics, won a varsity letter for four years of soccer, was a lieutenant on the brigade staff, and chaired the Special Events Committee.

We both chose Air Force after graduation. Chuck earned his navigator's wings and was assigned to a strategic bomb wing at Travis Air Force Base, California, during 1951-52. It was there that he met and married Marj.  In 1953, he was transferred to Mountain Home Air Force Base, where he served as Assistant Chief of Operations for a Strategic Air Command Medium Bomb Wing.

Chuck had two outstanding careers – in the Air Force and, after retirement, in executive business management. In 1958, he was assigned to the new Air Force Academy Spanish Department, after earning a master's degree from the University of Texas. In 1962, he became a Squadron Tactical Officer in charge of the officer training of a cadet squadron.

In 1964, Chuck was assigned as Chief of Liaison for the Joint U.S. Military Group in Spain. He received the Joint Services Commendation Ribbon for his accomplishments there.

In 1969, Chuck was assigned to Air Force Headquarters in the Pentagon, where he remained until his retirement as a colonel six years later. His career in Washington was exemplary, and  for his accomplishments he was awarded two Legions of Merit and the Distinguished Service Medal.

Chuck’s first assignment in Washington was as Legislative Liaison for the Office of Secretary of the Air Force. He was responsible for oral and written responses to inquiries from members of congress from ten states. From this position, he was promoted to Branch Chief, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, where he was responsible for substantive responses to inquiries from the White House and Office of the Vice President.

In 1971, Chuck was assigned as Deputy Director of Legislative Liaison, Office of the Secretary of Defense. He worked with congressional committees, and arranged appearances of defense witnesses. He performed similar functions for the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Intelligence, the joint Staff, and the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. He prepared White House staff briefings. Chuck’s last assignment in Washington was as Special Assistant for Legislative Affairs to the Assistant Secretary of Defense. He served as principal liaison between congress and the three military departments.

Chuck Hammond retired from the Air Force in 1975 and immediately joined Sperry Corporation, where he served as a manager in Minneapolis for a year and a half and then in Bonn, Germany for seven years, in charge of Defense Systems. In 1984, he was transferred to Washington as Director of International Operations in the Computer Division. After Unisys acquired Sperry, he became a vice president of that corporation.

Chuck fought off cancer for several years, and when we met at our class reunion in the summer of 1990, he had hopes that he was in remission. But upon returning from an overseas business trip in 1991, he became seriously ill and passed away in May of that year.

Chuck’s wonderful wife, Marjorie H. Hammond, a lovely lady and the mother of their two daughters, Daphne and Janet, passed away on 4 Nov 1997 in Washington, DC. Chuck and Marj are survived by their two daughters.

I, and dozens of friends from Chuck's Air Force and business careers, will miss them terribly. They were two rare class acts.

Kenton Cooley ‘50




Photos Courtesy of John Metzler, Jr., August 2006

DATE OF BIRTH: 09/09/1926
DATE OF DEATH: 05/31/1991

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