September 26, 1930 - February 16, 2021 Robert Arthur Christy, LCOL USMC (Retired), a 50 year resident of Palos Verdes passed away peacefully with his family by his side on February 16, 2021. He was born in Des Moines, Iowa on September 26, 1930. Robert was an ROTC candidate at Oregon State University. While at Oregon State, he was a Delta Tau Delta fraternity brother and met his college sweetheart and wife of 62 years, Janet E. Christy. Robert graduated from Oregon State earning a degree in industrial engineering, with honors designation. Prior to commencing his military tour, he attended Princeton University. Robert graduated Summa Cum Laude, earning his Master's Degree in Aeronautical Engineering. Robert had an illustrious career in the United States Marine Corps. He served for 24 years as a Marine fighter pilot, primarily in F4 Phantoms. He deployed for four tours, two of which were in Vietnam, serving his last tour as Commanding Officer of VMF-314, based at Da Nang, Republic of Vietnam. He also served in VMG-323 which was tasked to protect the Formosa Straight from the Republic of China (RPC). Taiwan recently took the opportunity to present Robert and those from his squadron with the Taiwan Medal of Freedom in recognition for their participation in this action. He was a member of The Society of Experimental Test Pilots and the Tailhook Association. During his military career he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Presidential Unit Citation and the National Defense Service Medal, to name a few. In addition to his distinguished military career; he served in various civilian aviation positions: he was Chief Demonstration Pilot for National Aircraft Leasing, a division of American Airlines; and flew for Air America. He held an ATP certificate and a vast number of business aircraft type-ratings, including helicopters. After retiring from the Marine Corps, he co-founded a very successful aviation services company called The Air Group, with his dear friend and business partner Jon Winthrop, from 1980 to 2007. At the pinnacle of their success, they managed a diverse fleet of over 50 aircraft that included the Challenger, Citation, Gulfstream, Hawker, Boeing and Airbus corporate jet aircraft. In September 2006, he was awarded the prestigious Wright Brothers Master Aviator Award signifying 50 years as a 'Master Aviator'. A master aviator flies for 50 years without an incident. A recently retired FAA inspector is quoted as saying "I have worked with Mr. Christy during 1980 through 1997. His leadership, integrity and professionalism as a pilot are among the best in the industry." Robert A. Christy was preceded in death by his beautiful wife, Janet. He is survived by his daughters, Linda M. Christy, Dianne Bohnsack; his son-in-law, Dr. Oliver Bohnsack; his grandsons, Robert S. Mohabeer and Christopher-Drake S. Mohabeer; and his sister, Ann Willard. Robert was truly a remarkable husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend, in addition to being an amazing Marine pilot. He will be greatly missed.
Published in Palos Verdes Peninsula News on Feb. 23, 2021.