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Charles Alvin Beckwith
Birth: Jan. 22, 1929
Death: Jun. 13, 1994

United States Army Officer. He was the founder and first Commander of the United States Army's Counter-terrorist 1st Special Operations Detachment - Delta, also known as "Delta Force". He is remembered for its most decisive failure, the attempt to rescue the 52 hostages held in the American Embassy in Teheran, Iran in 1980. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, affectionately known as Chargin' Charlie, was a six foot, 3 inch Green Beret (Army Special Forces) officer and decorated hero of the Vietnam War. After attending Brown High School, he was an all-state Football player and three-year starting guard on the University of Georgia Football team. Obtaining his Army commission in the Infantry in 1952, he was assigned to the 508th Regimental Combat Team at Fort Benning, Georgia, and later spent three years with the 82nd Airborne Division. When the Special Forces were created in 1958, he immediately took an interest and joined them, becoming an Advisor in 1960 in South Vietnam. In 1962, he was trained with the British Army's 22nd Special Air Service Regiment during Britain's war to put down communist guerillas in Malaysia, and much of what he learned there he would put into the later Delta Force. He returned to Vietnam in 1965, where he fought an eight-day battle against North Vietnamese regulars at Plei Me. Later, in 1966, he was severely wounded when an enemy .50 caliber round hit him in the stomach. In 1974, after many years arguing for a special anti-terrorist unit, the Army selected him to form one, the result was Delta Force, which he located in an old post stockade at Fort Bragg, North Carolina so they could train in privacy. In 1979, radicals seized the United States Embassy in Teheran, Iran, and held the American Embassy personnel there as hostages. President Jimmy Carter then authorized Delta Force to plan and execute a rescue mission. When the mission failed, and eight servicemen died in the evacuation of their secret desert base, Beckwith's career in the Army was effectively ended. He retired from the Army in 1981, and formed a consulting firm, Security Assistance Services. In 1983, he wrote a book, "Delta Force" with Donald Knox, in which he blamed the helicopters and their Marine Corps pilots for the failure of the rescue mission. An innovative thinker and creative soldier, his concept of a counter-terrorist force would been seen as years ahead of its time. He died in his home in Austin, Texas, of natural causes. (bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson) 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Elza Dozier Beckwith (1894 - 1940)
  Claire Eugenia Rey Beckwith (1895 - 1973)
 
 Siblings:
  Elza Dozier Beckwith (1919 - 1920)*
  Elzine Claire Beckwith Love (1924 - 1998)*
  Charles Alvin Beckwith (1929 - 1994)
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery
San Antonio
Bexar County
Texas, USA
Plot: Section 9, Grave 1132
GPS (lat/lon): 29.28633, -98.25512
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jun 04, 2000
Find A Grave Memorial# 9791
Charles Alvin Beckwith
Added by: Erik Skytte
 
Charles Alvin Beckwith
Added by: David N. Lotz
 
Charles Alvin Beckwith
Cemetery Photo
Added by: DonZas
 
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- Lazer
 Added: Jun. 13, 2014

- elaine bailey
 Added: Jun. 13, 2014

- John P. Birosak
 Added: Jun. 6, 2014
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