Small Town South Carolina Boy (1992)

Astronaut Charlie Duke stands and salutes. It is the high point of a distinguished military career.

Born in Charlotte, North Carolina, October 3, 1935, Charlie grew up in Lancaster, South Carolina. He attended and graduated valedictorian from the Admiral Academy, St. Petersburg, Florida. The next four years were spent at the U.S. Naval Academy, where he found out he liked airplanes better than boats. As a consequence, he elected upon graduation to be commissioned in the Air Force rather than the Navy and began pilot training. Charlie was a natural, right from the start, a distinguished graduate from basic and again from advanced flying training. He became a superb fighter pilot and excellent astronaut.

Here he is on the plains of Descartes. With his Apollo 16 partner, John Young, they have been the first to inspect, survey and sample materials and surface features in the Descartes region of the rugged lunar highlands. They spent 71 hours on the Moon, during which time they performed three excursions for a total of 20 hours of moonwalking each.

Charlie stands almost 6 feet and is still rail thin. He is now a retired Brigadier General, United States Air Force Reserve. Charlie and his wife, Dotty, divide their time between family and a worldwide speaking ministry about their personal beliefs in Christ. Charlie said recently, "My zest for life is greater than ever before. I have enlisted in the Lord's army. I am in his service."

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