Eight Bells: Richard Bartlett

Published on October 24th, 2022

Richard C. “Dick C.” Bartlett, Jr. of Severna Park, MD, passed away on October 11 at the remarkable age of 100.

A veteran of both World War II and the Korean War, Dick C. pursued his love of sailing and dinghy racing in such fitting ports of call as Annapolis along with California towns of Coronado, Long Beach, and Seal Beach where, among many others, he was stationed during his 25 years in the Navy.

While in Coronado, Dick C. purchased his first Snipe and helped establish Snipe Fleet 573 at the Coronado Yacht Club. During his final posting in Annapolis (1965), he became active in Snipe Fleet 532 at the Severn Sailing Association.

In 1971, when the Snipe was the largest one-design class in the country, Dick C. was principal race officer for the Snipe Nationals hosted that year by SSA. At the time he was also the club’s commodore after serving as vice commodore in 1968. In 1973 he became president of the Chesapeake Bay Yacht Racing Association.

Dick C. and his three younger brothers were introduced to sailing by their father and spent many happy summers sailing and racing Comets, National One-Designs, and International 14s in Annapolis. Their father, Richard C. Bartlett Sr., was one of three founders of SSA (1954).

A Navy engineer stationed at the David Taylor Model Basin in Annapolis, Dick C.’s father and a group of his engineer friends built a fleet of dinghies they called a “Severn One-Design” (a boat similar to the National One-Design). Dick C. was a long-standing member of SSA, the Annapolis Yacht Club, and the Sailing Club of the Chesapeake.

A proponent of junior sailing, Dick C. introduced daughter Linda and son Jonathan to racing and shared the cockpit with each while racing Snipes.

Dick C. was born in Long Beach, CA on March 8, 1922 and graduated from Annapolis High School in 1940. He attended the University of Maryland before enlisting in the Navy in 1942. In World War II, Dick C. flew Vought Kingfishers (an observation seaplane) and in the Korean War he flew Douglas AD Skyraiders (a single-seat attack aircraft). He was also officer in charge of a six-aircraft squadron.

In 1967, Dick C. retired from the Navy; he’d achieved the rank of commander and been awarded both the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Navy Air Medal. After his retirement from the Navy, Dick C. enjoyed a 32-year career with the Equitable Insurance Company.

He is survived by his wife of 33 years, Mary Ellen (Crafton). He is predeceased by his first wife, Frances Fisher, to whom he was married for 45 years, and his eldest son, Richard C. “Ricky” Bartlett, III. He is survived by three other children: Linda Bartlett Stearns of Oxford, MD, Robin Bartlett of Pasadena, MD, and Jonathan Bartlett (Molly) of Annapolis.

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