Knarr Program Moved To Accommodate Crowd

November 19, 2014 at 8:42 PM


Chris Knarr, following his presentation, meets with some of the people in attendance.

     Chris Knarr, retired United States Marine and current Stat MedEvac pilot, drew a crowd large enough to force his DuBois Area Historical Society sponsored program from the Society’s museum to a different location.

     When a crowd of over 40 people arrived for Knarr’s talk, and the meeting room became a quite cramped, an offer was made to transfer the program to Abba’s Coffee House, directly across Long Ave. Both the speaker and his audience, which included many veterans, moved to that location.

     Knarr opened his program by showing a video of the history of Marine 1, the helicopter used to fly the president of the United States. During his last four years with the Marines, Knarr was one of the pilots for Marine 1 and Marine 2, which transports the vice president.

     “It was a very exciting mission,” said Knarr. “I got to go to really interesting places and work with some great people.” Included in his visitation list were most areas of the United States and foreign trips to Croatia, Slovenia, and South Korea.

     Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama were both on flights with Knarr along with cabinet officials such as the secretary of defense and foreign dignitaries. “Both presidents were very gracious and very personable,” said Knarr. “It was an opportunity for me to see behind the curtains into their jobs.”

     An unexpected perk was Knarr and his wife being invited to Camp David by President Bush.

     A typical flight, according to Knarr, was usually very short compared to the hours of training involved. As an example he told about flying President Obama from the White House to Air Force 1 for a trip to Chicago. When he arrived in Chicago, Marine 1 would fly him from the airport to Soldier Field where a motorcade would complete the rest of the trip.

    Knarr was raised in Troutville and joined the Marines after graduating from DuBois Area High School in 1990. Through the Marine Corps Enlisted Commissioning Education Program Knarr enrolled at Penn State University and earned a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering in 1998. He became a helicopter air crewman and was deployed three times, twice to Iraq, and once to the Mediterranean, where he participated in the evacuation of 15,000 people from Beirut, Lebanon.

     When he learned of the opportunity to apply for service with Marine 1, Knarr applied. The competition is stiff for the positions and he was one of a half dozen selected for the program.

      Knarr retired from the Marines with the rank of major in 2011. He currently lives in DuBois and works for Stat MedEvac. “The cool part is I got to come home and still fly helicopters,” he concluded.  

      This was the last 2014 speaker program of the DuBois Area Historical Society. Programs will resume in February 2015. Two additional fundraisers are scheduled in 2014:

      Nov. 21-23 – Fundraiser at Ruby Tuesday’s Restaurant, DuBois. Get a voucher from any board member or print one from the Society’s website:

      Dec. 12 – Fundraiser Hoss’s Steak and Sea House, DuBois, all day. Get a voucher from any board member or print one from the Society’s website:   

Category: News