Charles F. Blair, Jr. was a United States Air Force Brigadier General, United States Navy aviator Captain, a test pilot, an airline pilot, and airline owner. He died in a Grumman Goose seaplane crash in the Caribbean.
Blair purchased the P-51 Mustang “Stormy Petrel” that Paul Mantz had flown to win the Bendix Trophy air races in 1946 and 1947. Rechristened “Excalibur III”, Blair began setting records flying non-stop from New York to London and Bardufoss, Norway to Fairbanks, Alaska. He was awarded the Harmon Trophy from President Truman and the Gold Medal of the Norwegian Aero Club. Blair resigned his naval commission in 1952 and was later commissioned a Colonel in the United States Air Force Reserves while still flying for Pan American World Airways. He was promoted to Brigadier General in 1959. In the same year he led two F-100 Super Sabers in a nonstop flight from England to Alaska in the first jet fighter flight over the North Pole. Blair earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (United States) for the flight. In 1970 he wrote his autobiography Red Ball in the Sky. He died in a Grumman Goose seaplane crash in the Caribbean.