Congressional Gold Medals
Major Charles Gartrell
Major Charles Henry Gartrell (July 28, 1914 – July 3, 1988) is being honored Congressional Gold Medal on Sunday at 2:00 PM at the Main Library in his hometown of Ashland, Kentucky. Charles learned to fly when he 17 years old and dedicated his entire life to bring aviation to Kentucky. He would become a test pilot and fly with the Civil Air Patrol, Army-Air Force Auxilary, and Navy Reserve.
Gartrell was the third Civil Air Patrol Kentucky Wing Commander from September 29, 1942 to June 1, 1943. He went on to serve as a pilot at Bader Field in Atlantic City, New Jersey at Patrol Base No. 1 of the Antisubmarine Command. He participated in sinking two German submarines off of the U.S. shores during WWII.
After the war, he was dedicated to building aviation in the Commonwealth. In 1941, Gartrell was named the first chairman of the Kentucky Aeronautics Commission and the first commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Aeronautics from 1948 to 1956. He began the Division for Aeronautical Safety and the Division of Airport Development. When he began, Kentucky only had 18 airports. During his life, he built or expanded 35 airports including Capital City Airport.
Lloyd & Grace Schleicher
Lloyd & Grace Schleicher
It is a great love story of two people that served in the Civil Air Patrol their entire lives. Lloyd and Grace met in 1944 at a Civil Air Patrol (CAP) meeting. She was 15 and he was 16. They had their engagement party at the CAP Christmas party several years later. They were dedicated to improving their community and serving their country. In addition to his service in CAP, Lloyd was in the Air Force Reserve. He served our country as a pilot and as an architect. Grace provided a homebase in Kentucky to raise their four children while Lloyd traveled where he was needed. When he was not traveling, they were running their Kentucky squadron and serving in Emergency Service missions around the state. Their dedication to their community, state, and nation is being remembered on Nov 4 at 2:00. The ceremony is at the Bowman Field Administration Building. This location makes the ceremony more meaningful because it is the place they met at a CAP meeting and served their CAP careers. Civil Air Patrol is awarding them the Congressional Gold Medal for their service. Their family will accept this honor on their behalf. Special thanks to Bistro Le Relais Restaurant for providing this significant location.
The pictures of Grace and Lloyd were provided by their family.
Kentuckian 2nd Lieutenant Mary Pat Shely joined the Kentucky Wing of the Civil Air Patrol in 1942. She taught herself to fly the Piper Cub her father bought her and flew with the Lexington Squadron.
For her faithful wartime service, National Headquarters, Civil Air Patrol, United States Air Force Auxiliary is pleased to announce that 2nd Lieutenant Shely has been awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.
The award ceremony will take place on Sunday, August 5:00 at the Aviation Museum of Kentucky in Lexington.