Charles Fredrick Demmler was born in Dobbs Ferry, New York on August 28, 1923, son of Charles R. and Anne (Buckley) Demmler. Following graduation from high school in 1941, he attended the General Motors Institute of Technology, Flint, Michigan, and Fisher Body, Tarrytown, New York, a Division of General Motors, where he was a student engineer. He enlisted in the US Naval Reserve on November 20, 1942, under the Aviation Cadet V-5 Program. From June to September 1943 he had instruction at Renssalear Polytechnical Institute, Troy, New York, then had two months’ further instruction at Lenoir Rhyne (North Carolina) College. In December 1943 he reported for pre-flight training at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and from March 1944 to January 1945 had flight training at the Naval Air Stations, Bunker Hill, Indiana, and Pensacola, Florida. He was commissioned Ensign, USNR, and designated Naval Aviator on January 31, 1945, and subsequently advanced in rank to that of Captain, to date from July 1, 1965 having transferred from the US Naval Reserve to the US Navy on September 12, 1946.
Following his commissioning in 1945 he reported for operational flight training at the Naval Air Station, Green Cove Spring, Florida, and September 1945 joined Fighting Squadron TWO HUNDRED. From January to August 1947 he had instruction at Marquette University, the transferred to Fighting Squadron (later Fighter Squadron) ONE HUNDRED NINETY TWO. In January 1949 he was detached for night fighter squadron and instrument instruction attached to fleet All Weather Training Unit, US Atlantic Fleet. From July 1950 to August 1952 he had further instrument flight instruction at the Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida, and remained there for instruction in photographic reconnaissance at the Photographic School. In March 1953 he became Safety Officer with Composite Squadron SIXTY THREE and in September 1954 joined the Staff of Commander Naval Air Force, US Atlantic Fleet as Special Weapons Training Officer.
Following instruction (August 1955 to February 1956) at the Test Pilot School, Naval Air Test Center, Patuxent River, Maryland, he remained there as a Test Pilot. In August 1958 he reported for instruction at the General Line School, Monterey, California, and during July and August 1959 had further instruction with Fighter Squadron ONE HUNDRED TWENTY ONE. From September 1959 to July 1960 he was Executive Officer of Fighter Squadron NINETY TWO, then returned to Fighter Squadron ONE HUNDRED TWENTY-ONE as Operations Officer. In June 1961 he assumed command of Fighter Squadron ONE HUNDRED NINETY THREE. From July 1962 to June 1963 he attended the Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, and further courses there at the extension of George Washington University, Washington, DC.
Between July and November 1963 he had instruction with Carrier Replacement Air Wing TWELVE, then became Wing Commander of Carrier Air Wing TWO. In January 1956 he transferred to USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVA-42) as Executive Officer and in February 1966 assumed command of USS Yancey (AKA-93). Detached from that attack cargo ship in January 1967 he reported for instruction at San Diego (California) State College, from which he received the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Mathematics in January 1968. He next became Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations to Commander SEVENTH Fleet. “For exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service…” in that capacity he received the Legion of Merit with Combat “V”. The citation continues in part:
“Captain Demmler was responsible for coordinating and monitoring the movement and operations of all air, surface and subsurface units of the SEVENTH Fleet. His highly professional performance was instrumental in the effective maneuvering of force levels and planning of operations during an exceptionally tense period of time in the Western Pacific. During the days following the seizure of USS Pueblo and the destruction of a reconnaissance aircraft by North Korea, he was responsible for the effective repositioning of naval forces for maximum coverage of all potential trouble areas. He was also responsible for maneuvering United States forces during two major policy changes affecting the bombing halt in North Vietnam. His broad experience in all facets of naval operations and his imaginative planning were highly significant factors in the success of operations in the Southeast Asian combat area. His highly effective exploitation of lucrative targets south of the nineteenth parallel in North Vietnam from April to November 1968 resulted in grave damage being rendered to Communist supply lines and a resultant upset in the effectiveness of enemy operations…”
He was also awarded the Naval Distinguished Service Order by the Republic of Vietnam.
In December 1969 he assumed command of USS Forrestal (CVA-59) and in November 1970 was detached for duty in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department, Washington, DC.
In addition to the Legion of Merit with Combat “V,” Captain Demmler has the American Campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal; Navy Occupation Service Medal; China Service Medal; and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal.
He died April 25, 2004.