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Carl Morris Nelson
Colonel, United States Air Force
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Carl Morris Nelson, 87, an Air Force Colonel who retired in 1963 and then focused on corporate banking as a vice president of Riggs National Bank of Washington until retiring in 1984, died of cardiac arrest December 9, 2007, at his home in Annandale, Virginia.

Colonel Nelson was born in Portland, Oregon, and raised in Santa Barbara, California. He was a 1940 graduate of Santa Monica City College.

That year, he entered the Army Air Corps pilot training program. He spent part of World War II as a flight instructor. He also served in Europe with the Army Air Forces.

Colonel Nelson transferred into the Air Force when it was established in 1947 and participated in the Berlin Airlift. In all, he had more than 4,500 flying hours before retiring.

His final active-duty assignment was at the Pentagon as a congressional liaison officer. During his military career, he graduated from the Air Command and Staff College and the Air War College and attended the senior officer's military management program at George Washington University.

After joining Riggs Bank, he attended Columbia University's graduate school of business administration and was a member of the school's senior bank management program.

His memberships included the Army Navy Country Club, the Air Force Association and the Military Officers Association of America.

Colonel Nelson's wife, Dorothy Dodd Nelson, whom he married in 1942, died in 1978. Their daughter, Nancy Bakalar, died in 1996.

Survivors include a granddaughter.


Carl Nelson, a retired Air Force Colonel and a retired Vice President of the Riggs National Bank of Washington, D.C., died on December 9, 2007 at home. He had lived in the Annandale, Virginia area since 1959. He was born in Portland, Oregon, and was raised in Santa Barbara, California. Upon graduation from Santa Monica City College in 1940, he voluntarily entered the Army Air Corps pilot training program. He received his pilot rating in 1941 and was commissioned a Reserve Second Lieutenant.

During World War II, he rose rapidly in rank and was a Major at age 24. In 1946 he was appointed a regular Army Air Corp officer and transferred into the Air Force when it was established in 1947.

He was promoted to the rank of Colonel in 1955. During his military service he had been assigned to various single and twin engine Air Craft Units and held command and staff positions. He also had been the Assistant Chief of Staff of Headquarters, Tactical Air Command. He held the rating of Command Pilot with more than 4500 flying hours. In 1958 he was assigned to the Pentagon and worked within the Secretarial Staff of the Secretary of the Air Force as a Congressional Liaison Officer. He retired from active duty in 1963. He was a Graduate of the Air Command and Staff College and the Air Force War College. He also attended the Senior Officer's Military Management Program which was conducted by George Washington University.

He joined Riggs Bank in 1963 and was appointed a Vice President in 1965. He then attended the Graduate School of Business Administration at Columbia University and was a member of the school's Senior Bank Management Program. During his banking career he worked primarily within the area of Corporate Banking. He retired from the bank in 1984.

Carl Nelson was a member of the Army Navy Country Club, the Air Force Association and a life member of the Military Officer Association of America.

His wife, Dorothy Dodd Nelson, died in 1978. His daughter, Nancy Bakalar, died in 1996. He is survived by a granddaughter, Kendall Wammock of Canton, Georgia.

Graveside service will be held at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 at 11 a.m.

Webmaster: Michael Robert Patterson


Posted:  20 December 2007
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