Colonel Charles M. "Charlie" Thrash was stationed at Myrtle Beach Air Force Base on three different occasions. During these three tours he filled nearly every flying-related leadership position in the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing and amassed more than 2,000 flying hours the A-10A, more than any other A-10 pilot assigned to the base. He served as a Squadron pilot, Instructor pilot, Mission Commander Standardization-Evaluation pilot, Flight Commander, Assistant Operations Officer of the 356th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Operations Officer of the 355th Tactical Fighter Squadron, and Commander of the 353rd Fighter Squadron. During these three assignments, Colonel Thrash was instrumental in developing joint Army and Air Force training and employment tactics and spear-heading Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) multi-force training initiatives. Colonel Thrash served as the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing Vice Wing Commander during his last tour at Myrtle Beach Air Force Base (1991-1992). During this post-Desert Storm period he was responsible for developing and managing the initial base closure processes. Following his final tour at Myrtle Beach, he was assigned to the 23rd Wing, Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina, as the Operations Group Commander. He was responsible for developing and integrating the operational concepts for the Air Force's
first Air Land Composite Wing. Colonel Thrash earned numerous awards during his 26-year -career, including the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal and the Aerial Achievement Medal. He participated in 240 combat missions in three different theaters of operation and completed nearly 700 hours of combat flying. Colonel Thrash served tours of duty in Vietnam, Texas, Hawaii, Saudi Arabia, North Carolina and Washington D.C. He retired in 1995 as the Vice Wing Commander of the 23rd Wing.