Charles Brendler


Induction: February 2, 1980

Cmdr. Charles Brendler, a New York City native, began his Navy career at age 15 as a "landsman for musician" clarinetist aboard the USS Florida in 1913.
Four years later, Cmdr. Brendler joined the Washington Navy Yard Band, predecessor of the United States Navy Band. He was the band's assistant leader prior to becoming its leader in 1942. In 1953, he became the first Navy musician to attain the rank of Commander.

During his tenure, the band made numerous national tours and traveled to Canada and the Caribbean . The "Navy Hour" radio program debuted under his direction in 1945, featuring the Band and famous celebrities of the day. It was the longest running show of its kind when it ended in 1968.

Cmdr. Brendler served as President and Vice President of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association. He was a member of the National Press Club and the only honorary member of the White House Correspondents Association. He received an honorary degree in music from the Washington College of Music in 1943.
During his career he participated in 11 Presidential Inaugural Parades and 30 national tours.