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» Smilin' Jack   » Specific Airline Discussions   » TWA   » Capt. Chris Clark Flies West

Author Topic: Capt. Chris Clark Flies West
Post Captain
Member # 722

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 - Christopher Jackson Clark II of Overland Park, KS, died on September 24, 2015. A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, October 24, at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, Wesley Chapel, 13720 Roe Ave., Leawood, KS. Private internment at the church columbarium. Luncheon at the church following the service.

Chris was born September 19, 1918, in Montvale, VA. He married Ida Catherine "Bonnie" Baker in February, 1945, who preceded him in death December, 1976. He is survived by their two daughters, Marie (Larry) Haake and Martha Clark, and two granddaughters, Lauren (Travis) Renfro and Jill Haake. He is also survived by his beloved wife, Carole Krehbiel, whom he married in March, 1984.

Raised in Roanoke, VA, Chris graduated from Business College in 1939. He soloed in 1936, and was one of the first 100 pilots in the state of Virginia. He went to work as a flight instructor for Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1941 in the school's civilian pilot training program for the Army Air Corps and Naval Aviation Primary and Secondary student pilot programs. He gave initial pilot training to more than 100 pilots who served in the Pacific Theatre during World War II; all of whom survived combat during the war.

Chris moved to Akron, OH, in 1943 as a test pilot for Vought Corsair F4U Navy fighters, built by Goodyear Aircraft Corporation. He joined TWA in September, 1944, in Washington, D.C., as a pilot-navigator, assigned to TWA's Intercontinental Division and flying Douglas C-54s across the North Atlantic to England and France for the Army Air Corps. He checked out on the Constellation in 1945 and eventually logged 10,000 hours in the "Connie." Operating out of Washington National Airport, he flew both Constellations and DC-4s at the start of TWA's International Division. During two tours on international, he made more than 1,100 North Atlantic crossings. He moved to Kansas City in 1948, eventually flying the Douglas DC-3 and DC-4, Martin 404, Boeing 727, Boeing 707, Boeing 747, and the Lockheed 1011. He retired from TWA in 1978 after 35 years.

Chris was a member of St. John's United Methodist Church for more than 40 years. At age 18, Chris enjoyed tap dancing and picked it back up again at age 85, through the Betty Tillotson Studio of Dance. He also enjoyed aerobics classes, which were sponsored by St. Joseph Medical Center.

Chris was a charter member of Save-A-Connie, which became the National Airline History Museum in Kansas City.

Rest in Peace, Captain Clark

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Bob Ritchie
Post Captain
Member # 1035

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Posts: 1936 | From: Warren County, Missouri  |  IP: Logged
Robert Dedman
Post Captain
Member # 366

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Chris was one fine gentleman and a great aviator. Flew with him often and gave him several check rides which were a pleasure to watch. Rest in Peace my friend.
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Prop Wash
Member # 381

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Chris and I met seventy years ago during that Army operation out of Washington, D.C.

Although we never flew together, our paths crossed (enjoyably) many times over the following years. Our most recent meeting being at an air show with Captain Clark proudly representing our airline and an airplane we all love so dearly.

This man was a true pleasure to be around. His contributions to aviation and TWA should make us all feel proud.

Rest in Peace, Captain Clark

An admirer of your Professionalism

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