Charles A. Babcock, 93, a Sawyer, Wash., resident passed away May 5, 2015 at home. Charles was born on July 31, 1921 in his grandparents’ home, two miles west of Grandview, Wash., on the Forsell Road, to Charles L. and Elsie (Simpson) Babcock. He received his early education in Parker Heights and graduated from Wapato High School in 1939.
Charles soloed on his twenty-first birthday in 1942 when he received his pilot’s license from Charlie McAllister, an early Yakima pioneer aviation instructor.
On October 3, 1942 Charles joined the Navy V5 program. He was sent to the University of Washington for academic training. He was then sent to Ontario, Ore., for flight training. From there it was St. Mary’s College in Calif., Norman, Okla., and Corpus Christi, Texas.
On September 13, 1944, in Corpus Christi, Texas, he received his commission as an Ensign. He was then transferred to Melbourne, Fla., for flight training in F6F Hellcats. In Glenview Ill., on Lake Michigan, he qualified as a carrier pilot. He was then transferred to Jacksonville, Fla., for training as a landing signal officer on carriers.
In Jacksonville, Fla., on March 10, 1945 he was married to Marjorie Nelson of Yakima, Wash. He was then transferred to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for further LSO training. After his discharge in October 1945 they returned to Parker Heights where he joined his father on a fruit ranch. It was here they built their home and raised a daughter, Rebecca Ann and a son, Douglas R. Babcock.
Charles was a thirteen year member of the Sawyer Volunteer Fire Department, a member of The Experimental Aircraft Association, the Antique Airplane Association, the Pearson Air Museum in Vancouver, Wash., and Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum, Hood River, Ore. He was an original board member of the McAllister Museum of Aviation in Yakima. Charles was a third generation member of Snokist Growers where he delivered his fruit for forty-seven years.
Charles enjoyed his love for antique airplanes, owning and restoring a J-5 Cub, a Ryan PT21 and a 1941 Taylorcraft. In 1997 he donated his Ryan airplane to the Pearson Air Museum where it can be seen by others interested in WWII airplanes. The Taylorcraft, formerly belonging to Charlie McAllister, was purchased from Charlie in 1985. This was the same airplane that Charles had soloed in 1942. This airplane is now in the Western Antique and Automobiel Museum in Hood River, Ore.
Charles is survived by his wife, Marjorie Babcock of Sawyer, Wash., a daughter, Rebecca Bailey (Tom) of The Dalles, Ore.; son Douglas Babcock (Karen) of San Gabriel, Calif.; a brother Jack (Kay) Babcock of Sawyer, Wash., a sister Phyllis Tufts of Sawyer, Wash.; three nieces, one nephew; three grand nieces and three grand nephews.
Charles was preceded in death by his parents, Charles L. and Elsie Babcock.
At Charles’ request, no services will be held. If desired, memorials may be made to the McAllister Museum of Aviation, Yakima Wash.; Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum, Hood River, Ore.; Habitat for Humanity, The Dalles, Ore.; Memorial Hospice, Yakima, Wash.; or a charity of the donor’s choice.
Charles would like to leave you with this thought. Did you fly with Chuck? You are one of over two hundred. Think back and smile!
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