09 September 2010

CTWG: The passing of Charles R. Tennestedt Sr.

An organizer of the Connecticut Civil Air Patrol wing dies in Florida (NOTF)

Charles Russell Tennstedt, 94, of Port Orange, Fla., died on Sept. 1.
Born June 1, 1916, he was the son of Wilhelmina (Kraetschmar) and Charles John Tennstedt.
A 1934 graduate of Rockville High School, his great enthusiasm was for aviation. He was issued his first pilot's license at the age of 18 and made his first solo was in a Kinner Powered Standard Trainer on Jan. 24, 1934. He became a flight inspector for the Connecticut Department of Aeronautics, and played a significant role in organizing the Connecticut Wing of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP).
He worked for 34 years for Eastern Airlines as a captain, flight instructor, check airman/captain in DC-3 to L-1011 planes, flight standards manager, flight jet engineer, and air traffic control specialist. After retiring from Eastern, he was involved in general aviation aircraft sales in Danbury, Conn., and wrote articles about aviation for flying magazines.
In 1982, Charlie and his wife moved to Port Orange, Fla., where he was active in a range of community activities.
The Wright Brothers "Master Pilot" Award was presented to Tennstedt by the FAA on Dec. 16, 2006.
A celebration of his life is planned for October. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches, Inc., c/o Debi Girard, P.O. Box 2000, Boys Ranch, FL 32064, or Hospice of Volusia/Flagler, 3800 Woodbriar Trail, Port Orange, FL 32129.

The following is from NER Historian, Col Fred Herbert;

Gill Robb Wilson started organizing the civil air patrol long before December 1941. Since he chaired the national aeronautic directors, he used that organization to enlist licensed pilots from across the nation and their aircraft. When the Office of Civil Defense established the Civil Air Patrol, Gill Robb Wilson had already drawn a national organization chart for the organization and had personnel assigned so they could “hit the ground running” on 1 December 1941.

Tennstedt, who worked with the Connecticut Director of Aeronautics (Lockhart) would have naturally been instrumental in organizing the Connecticut Wing. Lockhart became the first CTWG/CC --- this appointment was established prior to 1 December 1941.

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