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National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Roll of Honor

USDA Forest Service Contractor
Age: 54
Year of Death: 2003

Carl G. Dolbeare

Submitted by his mother

If one was trying to locate Carl‚ the first place to find him was at the airport or outdoors in the farthest camping area. If he was at the airport‚ he was generally working on his plane or catching up on small talk with his coworkers.

Carl’s love for airplanes was beyond anyone’s comprehension. He started flying during his teenage years. His knowledge and ability to fly several aircraft grew as Carl was growing. He was rated in the PV2‚ B17‚ DC4‚ DC7‚ C119 and Turbine Thrush. He also was a crop duster in his earlier years spraying the fields in Arizona.

Carl fought the fires in Yellowstone National Park‚ Rodeo-Chedinski‚ Grand Canyon‚ and the Oakland Oil Slick. He also flew to combat the Mediterranean fruit flies in Mexico‚ San Jose and Africa.

Carl came to Arizona in 1977 for a crop dusting job and ended up calling Arizona his home. He loved the Arizona outdoors and if he was not in his airplane‚ he was out camping and hunting. He was a dedicated outdoorsman who knew Arizona’s playground without using a map.

During the winter months when Carl was not flying or camping‚ he would drive 18-wheelers coast to coast for several companies. It was hard for the owner to give up Carl to return to his love of flying.

At the time of his death‚ October 3‚ 2003‚ Carl worked for Minden Air Corporation based in Minden‚ Nevada. He was doing what he loved and saving our planet.

Carl was known for three things: flying‚ driving 18-wheelers and being an outdoorsman‚ but Carl also had other loves; Mexican food‚ his two cats‚ watching movies and visiting with friends. He loved to tell stories and his usage of adjectives made the stories better.

To the older generation‚ Carl was known as a son‚ a nephew and a hard worker. To his generation‚ Carl was known as a brother‚ cousin‚ friend‚ coworker and great guy. To the younger generation‚ Carl was simply known as ‘Uncle Carl.’

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  1. Carl and another fire bomber pilot named Dan Townsend brought one of Globe Air’s B-17s in from Mesa to ABE for 30 days after the season ended. Abe Sellards was selling his 3 Boeing’s after the Forestry dept in Calif declared them obsolete.
    It was a sales-pitch trip. Carl was the pilot displaying the “capabilities of the aircraft” to a group of pretenders actually. Carl was a good sport about it and Tanker 99 went through paces every weekend that brought thirty thousand some people to see the aircraft over a period of 30 days.
    He couldnt wait to get back to AZ to hunt mule deer. I was back seat in Pete Knox’s T-28 formating with Tanker 99 while a genuine WWII pilot stuck to Carl’s wingtip like glue.
    100 feet above the length of a 6000 foot runway with four turning had the hair standing up on my neck running a VHS camera.
    Carl knew his shit.
    The people trying to buy Tanker 99 did not
    Collings Foundation ended up buying it
    And didn’t they auger in this past summer.
    Carl went hunting. I learned he worked for that star-crosses outfit Minden Air and was flying a Neptune another tanker 99 when he ran out of luck.
    There are guys that are pilots.
    That’s what they are and what they were born to be.
    That was Carl Dolbeare.
    I was glad to have witnessed his skill.

    – Lynn S Beedle Jr
  2. Only God knows who will ever read this but I can tell you Carl was a heck of a Pilot. When the calif dept of forestry made B-17s obsolete his boss in Mesa was selling three of them and contacted Carl and another fire bomber pilot Dan Townsend to bring it to ABE for a 30 day period to show the “capabilities of the aircraft” It was basically a sales pitch But Carl put Tanker 99 through its paces. 1983 that was an age ago. I sat in the back seat of Pete Knoxs T-28 while that old WWII pilot stuck to Carls wing like glue… I was running a camera with the hair standing up on my neck while Carl had that Boeing 100 feet above the runway for its entire 6000 foot length and Pete mumbling in my headphones. Carl was a Pilot plain and simple. Some people are born to be pilots. That was Carl. Knew he was working for that star-crossed outfit Minden Air when I heard he bought it flying their Neptune. We never bought the aircraft but Collings Foundation did. Didn’t they crash “909” last summer. Carl could fly anything. It was my good fortune to witness his skill.

    – Lynn S Beedle Jr