Col. Charles H. Pierce


Col. Charles H. Pierce, Viking alumnus and decorated pilot, learned to fly at LBCC in the late 1930s as part of the Civilian Pilot Training Program unveiled by President Roosevelt in the years leading up to World War II. The program’s aim was to train 20,000 college students as pilots each year in preparation for the coming war.

Our very own Charles H. Pierce was the first member of the Junior College Flight Training Program to be given his private flier’s license. After earning his wings, Col. Pierce established his own flight training schools to ready pilots for the war effort, and in 1945 he became the Commander of the Persian Gulf Command where he was the chief pilot for the Kings of Egypt and Saudi Arabia. He would go on to also serve as the Commander of the Pilot Training Program at Webb AFB in Texas, Base Commander of both Kadena AFB on Okinawa and Laredo AFB in Texas, and was the Commander of the Air Force Recruiting Service.

After retiring from the military, he was Chief Pilot and FAA Examiner at several airports back in his native Southern California.