CHARLES A. LEVIS, COL, USAF
Charles Levis '56
Date of birth: November 7, 1932
Date of death: April 2, 1972
From the 1956 Lucky Bag:
From USNA '56:
Colonel Charles Allen “ Choo” Levis’ death occurred as a result of an EB-66C reconnaissance aircraft being shot down in South Vietnam. He was declared “killed in Action” on 11 September 1978, over six years after he was reported “missing in action” on 2 April 1972. Charley and his electronic warfare team (Code Name BAT 21) were assigned to the 42nd Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron. They performed all weather day/night recon and countermeasures work essential to the guidance of bombers over their targets. Previous career assignments involved Project River Amber, flying in RC-135E aircraft where Charley was meritoriously selected as EWO Chief of this highly important surveillance program. The RC-135E was equipped with the most powerful and sophisticated electronics gear that ever flew at that time. Earlier, after 3 years of flying in B-52 bombers, he received a very significant assignment as Defensive Systems Officer on the Mach 2 B-58 Hustler supersonic strategic bomber while stationed at Carswell AFB. This was followed by an assignment to SAC Headquarters and then to Korat AFB Thailand for EB-66 training.
After graduation Charley received his Navigator wings at Harlingen AFB in Texas and qualified as an Electronic Warfare Officer at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, MS where he was blessed to meet Louann Kilchenstein, whom he married in 1959.
Charley grew up in Medford, Mass. He carried his standout football skills on to the Academy where he was a member of the varsity football team playing in the 1955 Sugar Bowl 21-0 victory over Old Miss. Louann and Charlie have two children: Laurel L. (Levis) Harrison and Charles A. Levis II, and four grandchildren.
Charles was lost when the EB-66E aircraft he was aboard was shot down over North Vietnam on April 2, 1972. This shoot-down began a series of rescue attempts and continued losses of aircraft, part of which was featured in the movie Bat*21.
Henry Serex '55 was also lost aboard this aircraft.