Like all the other members of CAP, Charles has served in the CAP as a volunteer, both here and in Novato, CA where he lived before coming to Marco Island in 2003. Prior to his retirement in 1997, he was employed in maintaining the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and flew for the Novato CAP squadron, where he served with distinction as the Supply Officer, Operations Officer,?Cadet Orientation Pilot,?and Emergency Services Mission Pilot and Observer.
As a member of the local CAP squadron, Charles attends CAP meetings twice a month, attends training conventions, including with FEMA and Water Survival Training.
Currently, two CAP pilots?one from Marco and one from Naples?are preparing to fly along the west Florida coastline and to bring a photographer to take pictures to monitor Gulf waters for effects from the oil spill. Charles serves the squadron as the Logistic Officer, keeping the hangar (at Marco Island Executive Airport) in good order: checking the A/C system and the sewer around the airport, and making sure there is sufficient gas supply for the generator that keeps them operating in times of emergency, among other duties.
Charles says that Marco Island’s Cessna 182 single-engine, heavier, prop-controlled, plane is one of twenty-three planes owned by the Florida CAP, a tax-free organization. In his time on Marco Island, he has been called out on search and rescue missions; he flew fourteen missions to survey the damage between here and Orlando, and from Ft. Lauderdale to Lake Okeechobee, to survey the damage wreaked by Hurricane Wilma. Also after Wilma, Charles recalls flying the plane while a photographer on board took photos of the hi-rise buildings along the south coastline of Marco. Ninety per cent of the windows of those buildings were blown out!
Now promoted to the rank of major, Charles has earned Certificates of Appreciation in recognition of Outstanding?Assistance to the Civil Air Patrol in 2005 and 2007. He also has earned these ribbons for wear on the uniform: Membership Ribbon, Disaster Relief, Search Find, General Chuck Yeager, Red Service Ribbon for 25 years of Membership, Leadership Ribbon with 2 Silver Stars and 1 Bronze Star, Unit Citation, and the prestigious Grover Loening Award.
A true high-flyer, Charles tells me he loves flying and is not planning to stop any time soon.