Harwell, Natl. Commander from 1986-1990, Passes at 90
Maj. Gen. Eugene E. Harwell, whose tenure as Civil Air Patrol national commander from 1986-1990 capped a career that included command of the Middle East Region – now the Mid-Atlantic Region – and North Carolina Wing, passed away Nov. 16 at his home in Mint Hill, North Carolina. He was 90.
Harwell served in the U.S. Air Force from November 1948-October 1952. He joined CAP in February 1958 as a member of the North Carolina Wing’s Charlotte Senior Squadron. Before becoming squadron commander in August 1963 he served as the unit’s officer for transportation, supply, operations and finance and as executive officer.
He became the wing’s assistant operations officer in August 1965, subsequently serving as operations officer, chief of staff and deputy wing commander. He assumed command of the wing in August 1975.
He helped develop the wing’s aircraft modernization program, later adopted by National Headquarters for implementation throughout CAP.
Afterward he served as Middle East Region assistant operations officer and deputy commander. He was appointed national vice commander in October 1985, then became national commander in March 1986.
As national commander, Harwell oversaw CAP's participation in the response to the March 24, 1989, Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska.
He was a master-rated pilot and a mission-rated observer.
His wife, Col. Joyce (Brookshire) Harwell, who survives him, commanded the North Carolina Wing from 1984-1986.