With deepest sympathy, we regret to inform you Colonel Charles F. Harrington, USAF (Ret.), former headmaster from 1990-1993 Pine Beach, NJ campus, passed away on July 31, 2023, at the age of 90. Before becoming headmaster he served as the Commandant of Cadets from 1981 – 1984.
COL Harrington graduated in 1972 from Troy State University in Alabama with a Bachelor of Science Degree with a history major and a business minor. He also graduated from the Air Command College during the same year. COL Harrington entered the Air Force in 1950 as a decorated fighter pilot. He was known as Papa Wolf while leading the 497th Tactical Fighter Squadron; he flew 211 combat missions and was awarded the Silver Star and the Bronze Star for his leadership and valor for his sacrifice and service during the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
Admiral Farragut Academy alumni and administration have reflected on COL Harrington’s leadership;
Chris Roden ‘81 “He was one fine educator and accomplished Commandant of Cadets. One great American, decorated war veteran, humanitarian and accomplished educator. Just one very decent guy and somebody I can call a friend. We need so many more like him. Rest in peace, my leader, for time well served. Thank you, and regards to the family.”
Leonard Bonacci ‘89 “I am sorry to hear about Colonel Harrington’s passing. Looking back, I see now that he embodied the traits AFA was teaching us and was a perfect example of the men we were aspiring to be. Thank you for your service, Sir.”
Bob Matthies ’67, former superintendent and headmaster, shared the following sentiments. “Before hearing this sad news, I spoke to Skip about attending a Farragut gathering. He said he wished he could but, unfortunately, found it necessary to decline. However, he spent a considerable amount of time reminiscing about our years at the Academy and some of the former cadets whose development and foundation for success he was incredibly proud to have played a part. Skip was a decorated military officer, a master teacher, an administrator at Farragut, a devoted family man, a faithful friend, and an all-around great guy. Rest in Peace, Skip. Yours was a life well spent. Now, ‘Off you go into the wild blue yonder!’ ”
We are grateful to COL Harrington’s steadfast leadership to Admiral Farragut Academy for over thirteen years and his decorated service to our country. COL Harrington’s dedication will never be forgotten, may he rest in everlasting peace, knowing the extraordinary legacy of instilling leadership, honor, and pride in many along his journey.
Read full obituary and service details