Whiteman AFB, Mo. – Lt. Col. Everett Wesley “Wes” McCullough, a Civil Air Patrol command-rated pilot and long-serving member of the Charles R. Long Senior Squadron in Kansas City, Missouri, passed away on December 18, 2020. He had formerly served as theNorth Central Region’s Standardization and Evaluation Officer, a position he also held at his squadron and with Missouri Wing headquarters.
Lt. Col. McCullough’s lifelong love of flying led to a long career as a commercial airline pilot after a short stint with the U.S. Air Force as a member of an Atlas-F missile crew, during which time he earned his private and commercial pilot’s licenses. After his military service, he initially flew for Capital Airlines before flying for the next 32 years with TWA until his retirement in 1998. After retiring from TWA, he formed McCullough Aviation LLC and trained the next generation of general aviation pilots as a certified flight instructor and FAA Designated Pilot Examiner out of the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport in Kansas City. In 2014, he was awarded the FAA Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award which recognizes individuals who have exhibited professionalism, skill, and aviation expertise for at least 50 years while piloting aircraft. In addition to his skills as a pilot, he was also a licensed airplane mechanic.
Over a 20 year CAP career, Lt. Col. McCullough was known as a dedicated pilot and could becounted on to fly needed search and rescue and disaster relief missions while helping his fellow pilots maintain their proficiency and training to CAP standards. Ever the teacher, he served on the staff of eight CAP national flight academies – sharing his joy of flying with CAP cadets. His CAP awards included: Command Pilot Wings, a Region Commanders Commendation, the Brigadier General Charles E. “Chuck” Yeager Aerospace Education Achievement Award, the Benjamin O. Davis Award, the Grover Loening Aerospace Award, the Paul E. Garber Award, the Gill Robb Wilson Award, and the U.S. Air Force Organizational Excellence Award. He held specialty track master ratings in standardization and evaluation and flight operations.
A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Lt. Col. McCullough earned an undergraduate degree from Park University in Parkville, Missouri. He was married to his wife, Pat, for 57 years after meeting her while stationed at Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene, Texas. In addition to his service with Civil Air Patrol, he was also active in his church, scouting, education (as a member of the North Kansas City School Board), and flying patients across the country for treatment with Angel Flight Central and as a member of the Shriner’s Flying Fez. He is survived by his wife, three children and four grandchildren.
A private funeral was held at Terrace Park Funeral Home in Kansas City. A celebration of his life will be held at a later date following resolution of the current coronavirus pandemic. Memorial donations may be made to Angel Flight Central or to the Wounded Warrior Project.