Charles Older

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Charles Older with his P-40B in Kunming, China

Charles Herman "Chuck" Older (September 29, 1917 – June 17, 2006) was the third highest scoring ace of the American Volunteer Group (the "Flying Tigers")[1] and later the judge in the Charles Manson murder trial, the Manson girls attempted to murder him.[2]

In his military career, he served in both World War II and the Korean War. Older shot down 18 enemy planes and was the third highest scoring Flying Tiger ace (with 10.25 victories).

Born in Hanford, California, he earned a degree in political science from the University of California Los Angeles in 1939 and later graduated from University of Southern California law school.[2][3] After a distinguished legal career, he was appointed to the bench of the Los Angeles Superior Court by Governor Ronald Reagan in 1967. He served for twenty years before retiring. His most famous case was the Charles Manson trial.[3] The trial lasted ten months, the longest in American history at the time. Prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi praised Older for his firm but fair handling of the difficult case. At one point, Manson tried to attack the judge and had to be restrained by bailiffs.

He died on June 17, 2006 at the age of 88 of complications from a fall in his home in West Los Angeles.[2] He was survived by his wife, Catherine Day Older, and three daughters.[2]


  1. ^ Rossi, J.R. "3rd Squadron Roster The Flying Tigers". The Flying Tigers - American Volunteer Group - Chinese Air Force. 
  2. ^ a b c d Associated Press (17 June 2006). "Charles Older, 88; Presided Over Manson Trial". Washington Post. 
  3. ^ a b Rossi, J.R. "Older biography". The Flying Tigers - American Volunteer Group - Chinese Air Force.