Elmer J Rago

Elmer J Rago







Elmer J (Charlie) Rago






Elmer Rago, known widely as Charley, left home when he was 16 to join the
Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). While in the CCC he fought in the diamond
gloves in the Paterson arena and won 20 out of 20 bouts.

Elmer spent two years in the CCC and got out on a Monday. He was in the
Merchant Marine on Wednesday of the same week. Elmer sailed on tankers,
cargo ships and passenger ships. While he was on one of the ships he was
hit by a 45 pound steel pin that holds the boom in place. He was in the
hospital in England and the states.

Elmer then went to the Coast Guard Academy, planning to sail in the Merchant
Marine again. He became aware that war was imminent and joined the Navy. Due
to his sailing experience he was not required to go to boot camp and was
assigned to a three master used to train Midshipmen.

He was assigned to New London, Ct for awhile and then went to the Armed Guard
as an instructor. From there he went to P.T. Boats, a battle ship (Wyoming),
a transport (West Point AP23). He was on a carrier (Franklin D. Roosevelt)
for five years and then went to the fleet training group in Norfolk, Virginia.
He helped train all countries on DD's Mine Sweeps, etc.

Elmer helped in training the French, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish
and Koreans.

Elmer left the Navy and opened an electrical business in Long Island,
New York. He joined the voluntary Nassau County Police and went up to
Chief of that organization the last year of his 13 year stint with them.

Charley moved to Florida and started a Voluntary Police Department there
and has been in it for 18 years. He will be 85 years young when he has
20 years in that organization. 

Elmer made his first sky dive when he was 80 and is planning another when
he reaches 85. He has zipped around the speedway at 175 miles per hour in
the Richard Petty car. He also has a job with the Speedway and has been 
with them 12 years now. He and his wife were extras in the movie, 
"Days of Thunder" with Tom Cruise. In addition to being in crowd scenes he 
was in a pit crew and was in a Quaker State uniform. They were also in 
scenes in another wilder napalm and did a modeling job for the Laplaya.

Charley sometimes caddies 18 holes and on occasion, more in the afternoons.
He makes golf clubs and also refinishes older clubs.

I was unable to get Charley to give me a date for his Bongo Jump, but from
what I know of this tough old bird, don't rule it out.








Picture of Elmer Rago with the eleven 35 MM Cameras. They all had to be in sequence with not even one frame difference. If he spliced a film and took out three bad frames he had to put three frames back.


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The picture below is of the guns used to fire at the planes going by. Hits were scored on the counter. Elmer is at the upper right gun.


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The picture below is one that Elmer modeled for the speedway. Elmer still works for the speedway, in security.


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The picture below is of the sky dive Elmer made for his 80th birthday


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The picture below is another of Elmer during his sky dive


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The picture below is another picture of Elmer during his sky dive


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The picture below is of Elmer Rago in the Richard Petty race car on his 83rd birthday, zipping along at 175 miles per hour


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The picture below is Elmer guarding the race car Bluebird, fastest car in 1935


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The picture below is of Elmer Rago in the Merchant Marine in 1937, aboard a tanker


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The picture below is of Elmer Rago as a volunteer with the Port Orange Police


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The picture below is of Elmer Rago patrolling at the Daytona Speedway


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The picture below is of Elmer Rago at the Coast Guard Merchant Marine Academy


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The picture below is of Elmer Rago with Tom Cruise in the movie, Days of Thunder


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The picture below is of Elmer Rago training at the Armed Guard Gunnery School


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The picture below is of Elmer Rago at the Merchant Marine Academy


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The picture below is of Elmer Rago and his wife and partner with the Port Orange Police Department


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The picture below is of Elmer Rago on the right with a radio announcer in the middle


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The picture below is of Elmer Rago modeling glasses


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The picture below is of the Elmer's USS Sylph, with sails up


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The picture below is of Elmer's USS Sylph with sails down


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The picture below is of the USS Wyoming


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The picture below is another picture of the USS Wyoming


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The picture below is of the USS Franklin D Roosevelt, taken after Charley served on it


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The picture below is of the USS Wyoming


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The picture below is of the USS Franklin D Roosevelt when Charley served on it


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The picture below is of the USS West Point when Charley served on it


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