More detail on this person: COLUMBIA - Lt. Gen. Charles Wilson Bagnal died Tuesday, June 30,
2015. Born in Mont Clare, SC on April 15, 1934, he was a son of the late William Kenneth Bagnal, Sr.
and Clara Wilson Bagnal. He grew up in Florence, South Carolina where he attended public schools
graduating from McClenaghan High School in 1952. He was a member of the National Honor Society, a
Marshall, president of the Key Club, lettered in football and was an all-state guard. During his
senior year he was president of the student body and was voted by his classmates as the most popular
and best all around. He was a member of First Baptist Church in Florence and was active in all
student programs. Upon graduation from high school he entered the United States Military Academy at
West Point, New York on July 1, 1952. He graduated on June 5, 1956 and was commissioned as a 2nd
Lieutenant in artillery and also became an army aviator. The day after graduation at high noon on
June 6, 1956 Charles married Patsy Smith, a high school classmate whom he had known since the
second grade. After a series of operational assignments in aviation and artillery units at Fort
Campbell, Kentucky, Hanau, Germany, and Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in 1966 Bagnal deployed to Vietnam
as a Major where he commanded C Troop, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division. He returned
to Vietnam as a Lt. Colonel in 1971 where he commanded the 52nd Combat Aviation Battalion. In
1969-1971 Bagnal was the Military Assistant to the Secretary of the Army. Other significant
assignments included: Chief, Staff Management Division, Office of the Chief of Staff, U.S. Army;
Deputy Director of the Army Staff, Office of the Chief of Staff, U.S. Army; Commander, 101st
Aviation Group, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault); Assistant Division Commander, 101st Airborne
Division (Air Assault); Deputy Superintendent, U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York;
Director, Office Personnel Management, U.S. Army Military Personnel Center Special Assistant to the
Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, U.S. Army. In 1981-1983 Bagnal was the Commanding General of
the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) which, 24 years earlier was his first assignment as a
lieutenant. From 1983-1985 he was Deputy Commanding General for Training at the U.S. Army Training
and Doctrine Command and the Army Inspector General for Training. From 1985-1989 General Bagnal
was Commanding General of the United States Army Western Command where he commanded all U.S.
Army forces in the Pacific to include U.S. Army, Alaska and U.S. Army, Japan less those forces in
South Korea. In March, 1987 General Bagnal was nominated for 4 stars by President Reagan as
Commanding General of the U.S. Army in the Pacific, but the U.S. Senate never took action on this
nomination, as Senator Glenn who headed the Senate Armed services Personnel Committee decided
we did not need another 4 star in the Pacific. Among General Bagnal's awards and decorations are the
Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze
Star Medal, 31 Air Medals, Presidential Unit Citation with oak leaf cluster, Master Army Aviator
Badge and Air Assault Badge. His foreign decorations include the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with
gold and bronze stars, Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation with palm and Vietnam Civil Actions
Medal with oak leaf cluster. General Bagnal also has been decorated by the Heads of State of Japan,
Thailand, Malaysia and South Korea. General Bagnal was a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and
General Staff College, the U.S. Army War College, held a BS degree from West Point, an MS degree in
Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech and upon retiring from the Army obtained a Juris Doctor
degree from the University of South Carolina. He practiced law with the Ratchford Law Firm in
Columbia from 1995-2005. Since retiring from the practice of law, Charles helped and advised many
veterans seeking assistance with VA disability benefits and other legal matters on a pro bono basis.
Charles was a life member of the 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Association, the 101st Airborne Division
Association, the 1st Cavalry Division Association, the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association and the
Military Officers Association of America. He was a member of the board of Directors of the West
Point Society of Columbia for 12 years and chairman of the board for 8 years. In 7 of the 8 years of
his chairmanship the association was recognized by the West Point Association of Graduates as a
distinguished society. In 2009 General Bagnal was selected by The School Foundation in Florence,
South Carolina as the Distinguished Graduate of Florence School District One. Charles and Patsy have
been very active in First Baptist Church, Columbia. Beginning in 1989, Charles taught an adult Bible
Study Class for 4 years, he was director of Adult 3 Sunday School Department for 4 years and until
2013 served as president of the Joy of Living Sunday School Class.
On two different occasions he was chairman of fund raising to build the new sanctuary for First Baptist Church. Charles and Patsy were married for 59 years.
Mostly, based upon his Army tours of duty, they have travelled to 108 nations.
Charles is survived by wife, Patsy; sons: Ruben (wife Charita), Charles, Jr. (wife Linda) and Joel; grandchildren: Katherine Babb (husband Adam), John Bagnal (wife Renata), Jordan Bagnal; Ruchelle Bagnal; Rizza Phillips (husband Richard); Raquel Bagnal; Shannon Bagnal and McKayla Bagnal; great grandchildren, Gage Babb and Riley Grace Phillips.
A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. at First Baptist Church, main sanctuary, 1306 Hampton Street, Columbia, SC 29201, Tuesday, July 7, 2015. There will be a reception for out of town guests at the Bagnal home at 221 West Springs Road, Columbia, SC 29223, following the service. The family will receive friends from 5 until 7:00 p.m. Monday, July 6, 2015, at Dunbar Funeral Home, Devine Street Chapel. Charles will be interred 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, July 14, 2014, in West Point Post Cemetery, West Point, New York. Memorials may be sent to First Baptist Church, 1306 Hampton Street, Columbia, SC 29201.
Please sign the online guestbook at www.dunbarfunerals.com
This information was last updated 05/18/2016
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