McCorkle, Charles Milton, Maj Gen

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Major General
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
Last AFSC Group
Primary Unit
1944-1946, AAF MOS 2120, I Fighter Command
Service Years
1932 - 1966
Major General

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
North Carolina
North Carolina
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SSgt Robert Bruce McClelland, Jr. to remember McCorkle, Charles Milton, Maj Gen USAF(Ret).

If you knew or served with this Airman and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Newton, North Carolina
Last Address
Durham, New Hampshire

Date of Passing
Aug 24, 2009
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

Headquarters Air Force Commander Air Force Retired

 Unofficial Badges 

Cold War Medal Air Ace American Fighter Aces Congressional Gold Medal

 Military Association Memberships
American Fighter Aces Association
  1961, American Fighter Aces Association

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
He destroyed 11 enemy aircraft in aerial combat in the Mediterranean Theater in WWII.
His ashes were scattered in the Pacific Ocean at Point Lobos, California.

His Silver Star citation:

Awarded for actions during World War II

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Colonel (Air Corps) Charles M. McCorkle, United States Army Air Forces, for gallantry in action while serving as a Fighter Pilot and Commanding Officer of the 31st Fighter Group, FIFTEENTH Air Force. On 3 January 1944, Colonel McCorkle led a flight of four (4) Spitfires which patrolled the Allied front lines in Italy. While investigating unidentified aircraft near Allied front lines, the Spitfires experienced intense, accurate heavy flak. Colonel McCorkle's aircraft was hit in the right wing and tail assembly, the control surfaces damaged, and the trim tab control cables were shot away. At the same time his radio ceased operating. Since he could not be certain of the full extent of the damage, and his aircraft was extremely difficult to control, he decided to break away from the flight in order to return to base. Before he could break away, he observed twelve (12) enemy fighters diving toward Allied territory. Realizing that to break away at this crucial moment would doubtless confuse his pilots and thereby delay their interception of the enemy fighters, Colonel McCorkle refrained from leaving his flight. Unmindful of the damaged condition and difficulty in maneuvering his aircraft, and disregarding odds of twelve (12) to four (4), he led his flight in an aggressive and superbly executed attack, dispersed the enemy formation and forced them to turn toward base. As the aircraft reached enemy territory, anti-aircraft fire caused both the enemy and the Spitfires to climb. Observing an enemy fighter to his left at six-thousand (6,000) feet, Colonel McCorkle attacked, and despite extreme difficulty in maneuvering his aircraft, he skillfully followed, closed to point blank range and shot it down. The expert flying skill, outstanding gallantry, and selfless devotion to duty displayed by Colonel McCorkle in flying a severely damaged aircraft into combat against numerically superior forces has reflected great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of the United States of America.

General Orders: Headquarters, 15th Air Force, General Orders No. 217 (1944)

Action Date: January 3, 1944

Service: Army Air Forces

Rank: Colonel

Regiment: 31st Fighter Group

Division: 15th Air Force

Other Comments:
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Aviator (Command)

 Unit Assignments
24th Pursuit Squadron, Interceptor35th Pursuit Group, Interceptor31st Fighter GroupI Fighter Command
  1938-1940, AAF MOS 1055, 24th Pursuit Squadron, Interceptor
  1940-1942, 35th Pursuit Group, Interceptor
  1943-1944, AAF MOS 1055, 31st Fighter Group
  1944-1946, AAF MOS 2120, I Fighter Command
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1941-1945 World War II
  1943-1943 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Tunisia Campaign (1942-43)
  1943-1943 Air Offensive, Europe Campaign (1942-44)/Operation Strangle
  1944-1944 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Anzio Campaign (1944)
 Colleges Attended 
United States Military AcademyArmed Forces Staff CollegeAir War CollegeNational War College
  1932-1936, United States Military Academy1
  1946-1947, Armed Forces Staff College
  1949-1950, Air War College
  1953-1954, National War College
 My Aircraft/Missiles
P-36 Hawk  P-40 Warhawk/Kittyhawk  P-39 Airacobra  Supermarine Spitfire  
P-51/F-51 Mustang  
  1938-1941, P-36 Hawk
  1940-1942, P-40 Warhawk/Kittyhawk
  1942-1942, P-39 Airacobra
  1943-1944, Supermarine Spitfire
  1944-1944, P-51/F-51 Mustang
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