Craig T. Scott

Craig Thomas Scott was born in Seattle, Wash., and passed away at the age of 67 on April12, 2021, in Cheney, Wash. He was the second of four children and the son of a career Army officer. This meant he was used to the life of constant moving every few years and seeing the world, to include living in France and Germany, as well as Virginia, Kansas, Washington and Hawaii – all before he went to the Academy.

This made him flexible, easy to get along with and willing to help others. It made him a great person to have as a friend and teacher. As a child, he was able to visit the USAFA not long after it graduated its first class. It was then that he decided he wanted to become a pilot and eventually fly U-2s, something he was able to accomplish as his last flying assignment.

Other airframes he flew included the KC-135, RC-135, T-33, T-37 and T-38. As an example of the kind of person he was, he flew RC-135s to Sh-emya in Alaska, which had a challengingly short runway. He landed his aircraft successfully, but the following plane crashed in the increasingly bad weather. He was able to help pull those in that aircraft out of the wreckage. One of the pilots said he never wanted to fly again. He was, however, willing to fly with Craig. That was the kind of person Craig and his reputation as a pilot was.

Craig was also a T-38 instructor where he had the opportunity to influence many young pilots to become the skilled professionals needed by the Air Force. This was a time when women were beginning to be permitted to fly in more types of aircraft. It was challenging for them to be accepted as they broke this cultural barrier. Craig treated all his students fairly. This was the kind of person Craig was, “one of the good guys.”

As mentioned, and shown in the included photograph, Craig accomplished his childhood dream of flying U-2s. He told me this almost did not happen because the Air Force had difficulty finding a helmet that would fit over his head. This near disaster was averted when a helmet from a previous large-headed U-2 pilot was found. One U-2 flight he could talk about was flying over San Francisco immediately following the 1989 earthquake, to help assess damage. He had many other U-2 missions throughout the world.

Upon retirement, Craig and his family returned to the quieter east side of Washington where he completed a master’s degree in mathematics. In his second career, he worked as an adjunct professor, teaching remedial and airplane mechanics mathematics at Spokane Community College.

He also loved the outdoors, particularly camping and hiking. While he and I backpacked the Appalachian Trail in Shenandoah National Park, as well as the Sawtooth and White Cloud Mountains in Idaho. Our most memorable trip was backpacking for 12 days in the backcountry of Glacier National Park. Craig was also an avid reader, carting 90 boxes of his book collection to his retirement destination.

Craig was preceded in death by his father, Cecil Scott, and mother, Marilyn (Schlax) Scott. He is survived by Joy, his wife of 45 years, along with their two daughters, Heather and Wendy; three grandchildren; his sister, Tracy; and brothers, Mark and Grant.

Joy, his wife, and Mark USMA ’74, his brother  |  September 2021

 


 

The Association of Graduates has recently learned of the death of Major (Ret) Craig T. Scott, CS-06 Class of 1975. Major Scott passed away on 12 Apr 2021 in Cheney, Washington. Funeral services will be scheduled at the convenience of the family. No obituary information is available. 

His family has suggested that memorial donations be made in lieu of flowers to the Friends of Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge, PO Box 294, Cheney, Washington 99004. donate online here

Condolences may be sent to his family in care of his brother, Mark. Colonel (Ret) Mark W. Scott, 414 Emerald Bay Dr, Salisbury, North Carolina 29146-1597

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