"... Charles Ehnstrom ("Chuck") Tofferi was born May 18th, 1933 in Fitchburg, Worcester County Massachusetts and when he grew up there he had one dream: to become a pilot.
As a 19 year old boy he enlisted in the Air Force on July 7th, 1952 and started pilot training. Two years later he graduated in Air Cadet Class 54-P at Reese AFB in Texas and started flying the twin-engine Convair T-29 at Harlingen AFB, Texas. In December that year (1954) he married Nancy Farrar, his childhood sweetheart, in the Harlingen AFB chapel.
After a few months flying the T-29 in Harlingen, he decided these aircraft were too slow and in 1955 requested fighter pilot training which he received at Perrin AFB, Sherman, Texas and Craig AFB, Selma, Alabama. Following fighter training he and wife Nancy moved to Westover AFB, Chicopee, Massachusetts. As a member of the 337th Fighter Interceptor Squadron (Air Defense Command) he flew the F-86D and L radar mounted Sabre aircraft which were soon replaced by the F-104A Starfighter in February 1958. Chuck flew the F-104 until the 337th disbanded in 1960 and the Starfighters were phased out at Westover.
In August 1960, Chuck transferred from the ADC to TAC (Tactical Air Command) joining the 479th Tactical Fighter Wing, George AFB, Victorville, California, to fly the F-104C Starfighter in a new role, as a fighter bomber aircraft. Over the next few years he was a member of the 435th, 436th and 476th squadrons with the wing. His great year was 1962 when he was chosen primary pilot and became Air Force Top Gun winning the Air Force World Wide Weapons Meet at Nellis AFB, Las Vegas, Nevada with 19,018 points flying F-104 57-914, scoring perfect scores in air-to-air gunnery (he destroyed the dart in only 63 seconds using 86 rounds); air-to-ground rocket, strafing and napalm attacks."
"His statement to Lockheed after his win: 'Thank you, one and all, for the best airplane I’ve ever flown. The F-104 'really shines' in maintenance capability, so simple to maintain, people with little experience can do it.'
... During his period with the 479th TFW, he had an 18-month exchange tour with the marines at Cherry Point MAS in North Carolina flying the A4C Skyhawk... After returning to George AFB, Chuck deployed to Udorn AB Thailand with the 435th TFS under the command of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing.
At Udorn all Starfighters flew in camouflage scheme, there he also flew a few missions inside his old William Tell aircraft 57-914 [57-0914] as he wrote in one of the letters to his wife.
... On October 20th, 1966, ... while pulling up from 1,000 feet over The Plain of Jars, Laos, Chuck was hit by AAA fire in the aft fuselage which was fatal."
"Capt. Charles E “Chuck” Tofferi, one of a kind"; International F104 Society; The Netherlands
Capt. Charles E. ("Chuck") Tofferi
(18 May 1933–20 Oct 1966; 33 years old)
Burial: Forest Hill Cemetery, Fitchburg, Worcester County, Massachusetts
Find A Grave Memorial
|Capt. Charles E. ("Chuck") Tofferi (18 May 1933–20 Oct 1966; 33 years old)