Mr. Charles B. Salter was born on August 19, 1925 in Detroit, Michigan. A combat infantryman during World War II, he was a graduate of Michigan Technological University, where he was awarded a Master of Science degree in Metallurgical Engineering in 1949.
From 1952 until 1962, he held increasingly responsible assignments as a metallurgist at the U.S. Army Ordnance Tank-Automotive Command's laboratories, eventually becoming Chief of the Metals Section.
From 1960 until 1969, he was the first Weapons System Officer on the M551 Sheridan and then Chief, Vehicle Engineering Division for the Sheridan vehicle, producing a vehicle capable of traveling at speeds in excess of 40 mph on primary and secondary roads.
From 1969 until 1975, he served as Deputy Project Manager for M60 tanks and later as Deputy Project Manager for M60 tank production. In late 1973, after the Yom Kippur War, he oversaw the overhaul, rehabilitation, and diversion of tanks to Israel under urgent circumstances, and then saw to the replacement of these diverted assets by establishing a second source for the casting of M60 hulls and turrets. Concurrently, he led the program of converting and upgrading M48A1 and M48A3 tanks with improved engines, transmissions, and the 105mm weapon.
From 1975 to 1984, he was Deputy Manager for the Bradley fighting vehicle systems, leading the program through a major redirection with full scale development, testing, production, and fielding. He saw to it that the Bradley program met or exceeded all requirements for the system established by the Army.
From 1984 until 1986, he was Deputy Program Manager for light combat vehicles, and in February 1986, he was asked to provide direction to the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Command's Research, Development, and Engineering Center, then in urgent need of reorganization.
In the last four months of his life, he restored the coherence and unity of the Center and got the organization moving again with a new zest and sense of purpose. Mr. Salter died on June 3, 1986 in Detroit, Michigan.