Antony M. Upton, #99, 1950 – 2010
A former Director of Cadet Programs for California Wing and Commander of Santa Barbara Composite Squadron 131, Antony M. “Tony” Upton died December 11, 2010 from injuries sustained in a farm tractor mishap. Two of Tony’s sons were cadets and were a source of great pride for him; one earned the Spaatz Award while the other served as Commander of California Wing’s Cadet Training Group. Tony’s decades of CAP service touched the lives of many generations of cadets and will continue to do so through the legacy he leaves in the dozens of Cadet Programs leaders he mentored.
Mike Taylor, #103, writes…
Antony Michael Upton was born in Alaska, April 11, 1950. He died in a tragic accident on December 11, 2010, while clearing land on his family property near his beloved Santa Barbara, California. He valued family more than anything else in life and leaves behind his wife, Kathy and sons Cody and Cash.
A graduate of California State University, Northridge, Tony was a well known and highly regarded businessman in the Santa Barbara area, working in banking, construction, finance and property development. He was a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.
In 1964, Tony joined the Civil Air Patrol as a cadet and earned his pilot’s license. As the 99th cadet to earn the prestigious “General Carl A. Spaatz Award,” he was promoted to cadet colonel in 1969. He participated in the 1970 International Air Cadet Exchange, visiting Australia.
Remaining in CAP after his cadet days, he became a commissioned officer, rising to the grade of Lieutenant Colonel. During his CAP career, he served as Commander of Santa Barbara Composite Squadron 131 and Central Coast Group 11. He also served in a number of staff assignments at the Squadron, Group and Wing levels, including Director of Cadet Programs for California Wing. As a rated Command Pilot with many hundreds of flying hours, he served as both a Cadet Orientation pilot and as an active Air Search and Rescue pilot. As an escort officer, he again participated in the International Air Cadet Exchange, visiting Sweden.
Both of Tony’s sons were cadets and were a source of great pride to him and to his wife, Kathy, also a CAP officer. Cody earned the Spaatz Award while Cash served as Commander of California Wing’s Cadet Training Group.
In his nearly five decades of CAP service, Tony Upton touched the lives of many generations of cadets and will continue to do so through the legacy he leaves in the dozens of Cadet Programs leaders and unit commanders that he mentored.