BRIGADIER GENERAL CHARLES W. SWEENEY Essay

This essay has a total of 730 words and 4 pages.

BRIGADIER GENERAL CHARLES W. SWEENEY

BRIGADIER GENERAL CHARLES W. SWEENEY
Retired Dec. 27, 1979
Brigadier General Charles W. Sweeney was born in Lowell, Mass., in 1919. He graduated from
North Quincy High School (Mass.) in 1937. After graduating from high school, he attended
evening classes at Boston University and also at Purdue University.

Charles Sweeney joined the Army Air Corps as an aviation cadet on April 28, 1941.
Receiving his commission as a pilot in the Army Air Corps as an aviation cadet on April
28, 1941. Receiving his commission as a pilot in the Army Air Corps in December 1941,
Lieutenant Sweeney spent two years at Jefferson Proving Grounds Ind. From the proving
grounds in 1943, Charles Sweeney, now a captain, moved to Eglin Field, Fla., where he
served as an operations officer and also a test pilot.

In 1944 he was promoted to the rank of major in the Army of the United States. At this
time he was acting as a B-29 pilot instructor at Grand Island, Neb. Later in the same
year, Major Sweeney was reassigned to Wendover Field, Utah and it was here that he began
working in the "Silver Plate" project, the code name of the pilot and crew training
program for the coming World War II atomic missions.

On May 4, 1945 (at the age of 25 and with the rank of major) Charles Sweeney became
commander of the 393d Bombardment Squadron, a B-29 unit, which seven weeks later (on June,
1945) flew to a base on Tinian in the Mariana Islands.

It was during August 1945 that Major Sweeney flew the history-making missions and dropped
the bomb which brought World War II to a close.

In November 1945, Major Sweeney and the 393d Bombardment Squadron returned home to Roswell
Air Force Base, N.M. His mission at Roswell was to train aircrews for a third atomic
mission -- a peacetime experiment on Bikini. Just a few months later on June 28, 1946, he
was discharged from active duty with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Colonel Sweeney, on Feb. 21, 1956, was appointed wing commander by Governor Christian A.
Herter. Also in 1956, the unit was again re-designated as the 102d Air Defense Wing, and
on April 6, 1956, Colonel Sweeney received his promotion to the rank of brigadier general.
1958 saw the wing receive its present designation as the 102d Tactical Fighter Wing.

General Sweeney is a command pilot with more than 5,000 military flying hours and he is
the holder of the Silver Star, Air Medal, National Defense Medal, American Theater Service
Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Service Medal with two bronze stars, World War II Victory Medal,
Occupation of Japan Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Air
Force Longevity Medal and the Massachusetts Military Service Medal.


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