work in progress



BLUE ANGELS
Losses & EJECTEES
[including lost in combat]
 

Date Air Force A'cft Unit / Serial based crashed crew photo seat
29th September 1946
USN
F8F-1 Bearcat Blue Angel
(#4)

95986

NAS
Jacksonville, FL
Failed to recover from  dive during display. Wingtip broke off his Bearcat while performing a Cuban Eight manoeuvre Lt. (Jg)  Ros "Robby" Robinson was killed not ejection seat - standard seat
16 Oct 46
USN
F8F-1 Bearcat Blue Angel
(#2)

94985 

Watsonville, CA  Oil loss in flight. Crash landing off runway. Lt (jg.) William May unhurt  
24th April 1950
USN
F8F-2 Bearcat Blue Angel
(#0)

95187

NAS Whiting Attempted Unauthorized  roll on take off.  Too-low. Lieutenant Bob Longsworth killed not ejection seat - standard seat
8th March 1951

Combat Loss


USN
F9F-2B [Blue Angel]

123621

USS Princeton (CV-37)
VF 191
AAA during strafing run, Korea Crashed off Korean east coast near Tanchon Lt. Cdr. John "Johnny" F. Magda
KIA
 
7th July 1952
USN
Grumman F9F-5 Panther Blue Angel
 
  Two aircraft in Low level mid-air collision during a demonstration in Corpus Christi, Texas Pilot survived    
7th July 1952
USN
Grumman F9F-5 Panther Blue Angel
(#4)

125286 

NAS Corpus Christi, TX Lt. Bud Wood ejected but did not leave the seat. Died of injuries   Early Grumman seat

4th August 1953

USN
Grumman F9F-6 Cougar Blue Angel
(#1)

128129 


Pickens, MS 
Runaway trim failure. Flying from N.Y. factory  Bethpage to NAS Corpus Christi, Texas as part of Blue Angels formation. Horizontal stabiliser actuator failure led to uncontrollable supersonic dive Lt Cmdr . Ray Hawkins became the first USN pilot to eject through the canopy. He ejected at 40,000ft in supersonic dive due to loss of control. Pulled away from his manual seat at 29,000ft. Grumman
24th March 1955
USMC
F9F-8 Blue Angel
(#6)

131213

NAS Corpus Cristi, TX  Flew into sand dune during solo practice. Captain Martin Pete Olsen killed  
xx June 1956? 
USN
F9F-8  131212    Class A accident. Unknown unhurt     
18th October 1956 
USN
F9F-8 Blue Angel
(#2)

131208

NAS  Pensacola, FL

Flew into ground during rejoin.

Capt Charles Hollaway killed     
2nd August 1958
USN
Grumman F-11A Tiger  Blue Angel
(#5)

138640 

Buffalo, NY Engine failure during  display. Crash landed in #6 Lt John Dewenter unhurt  
14th October 1958
USN
Grumman F-11A Tiger Blue Angel
(#1)

138642

NAS  Pensacola, FL Solo practice. Crashed into ground practising Split S Commander Robert Nicholls "Nick" Glasgow killed  
6th January 1960
USN
Grumman F-11A Tiger Blue Angel

141871

NAS Key West, FL  Midair during echelon roll. Lieutenant Donald  Robert "Bob" McKee
killed

Bob McKee had earlier ejected from an F-8U on 26th September 1958

 
10th April 1960
USN
TF-9F Blue Angel
(#7)

147404

Colorado Springs, CO Power failure on takeoff.    
Lieutenant William Bill Sherwood killed Av Mech J R McCay killed  
14th June 1960
USN
Grumman F-11A Tiger Blue Angel
(#3)

141867

NAS   Pensacola, FL

Flew into water on test flight

 
Lieutenant Anton "Skip" Campanella killed  
1961
USN
Grumman F9F-8T Cougar CHECK ???? Blue Angels #7

Walla Walla, WA

 FOD in engine on TO during press ride. Engine fire consumed aircraft during aborted TO   ?????
Lt Duke Ventimiglia
unhurt
 Passenger on board A/C Mr. Jim Shick
[a reporter and later an editor for the local newspaper, the Union Bulletin.
]
unhurt
 
15 Mar 1964
USN
Grumman F-11A Tiger Blue Angel
(#4)

141883?

Apalachicola  FL  Engine flameout on approach Lieutenant George Neale  
FEEDBACK

Hi, I just want to mention that while searching the internet I failed to find your website.  Probably due to the fact that Apalachicola Florida is misspelled.  For years I have searched for information about this crash as I was an eleven year old boy at the time and came upon the crash with my mother and brother very soon after the crash occurred.  Lt. Neale's aircraft barely missed a house and he stayed with the aircraft until the very last second.  He was trying to make the airport in Apalachicola which has  5,000 foot concrete runways.  He almost made the 18/36 runway.  I have vivid memories of the crash site.  Len Mozey tells me he lost a turbine blade which went out through the engine and through a fuel cell.  Thus causing the engine stoppage.  As I recall there was no fire or very little fire at the crash.  Perhaps the engine had cooled by the time of the crash. 

Local lore in Apalachicola at the time is that the aircraft was over Carrabelle Florida at the time, 22 miles out from the airport in Apalachicola.  Lt. Neale must have thought he could make the airport.  Len mentioned that there was a strong headwind the pilot didn't know about as the airport has no tower or ATC. 

Any further information you have on this or the Grumman seat in that aircraft would be appreciated.

 Kind regards,

Wallace

 Wallace Kelley

1504 Goodwood Drive

Tallahassee, Florida 32308

USA

 

 

16th January 1965
USN
Grumman F-11A Tiger Blue Angel
(#5)

141869? 

 Litchfield Park, AZ Dirty roll on takeoff during practice Lt Cmdr Richard Oliver injured 

[see also 2nd September 1966]

 
8th December 1965
USN
Grumman F-11A Tiger Blue Angel
(#6)
NAS Pensacola, FL  Systems failure in tuck under break Lieutenant Michael "Mike" Van Ort    
22nd September 1966
USN
Grumman F-11A Tiger Blue Angel
(#4)

141849?

Litchfield Park, AZ

Gear caught cable on formation takeoff.

Lt Frank Mezzadri unhurt  
2nd September 1966
USN
Grumman F-11 Tiger Blue Angel
(#5)

141764  

 Toronto,  Canada  Crashed  at International Air Exhibition, Toronto, Canada  Lt. Cmdr. Richard "Dick" Oliver killed

[see slso 16th January 1965]

 
1st February 1967
USN
Grumman F-11 Tiger
Blue Angel
(#6)

141738?

NAF El Centro, CA During practice flight. Aircraft stalled during a 1/2 cuban 8 maneuver at low altitude, spun into ground. Lt. Frank Gallagher
killed
   
18th February 1967
USMC
Grumman F-11A Tiger
Blue Angel

(#2)

141850? 

NAF El Centro, CA During practice flight. Formation loop mid-  air during practice. Capt. Ronald "Ron" Folk Thomson
[Thompson ??]
killed
   
19th July 1967

Combat Loss


USN
F‑8E
Crusader
150899 VF‑162
USS Oriskany
Hit by 57mm AAA leading a flak suppression element. Flew back to carrier but missed the wire and went over the side. Did not survive Cdr Herbert Perry Hunter
[Partially deployed parachute may have been an ejection attempt]
KIA
Martin-Baker
21st October 1967
USN
Grumman F-11A Tiger Blue Angel
(#6)

141870 [?]

NAS New Orleans, LA  Crashed on take off during display. Lt Hal Loney injured    
14th January 1968
USN
Grumman F-11A Tiger Blue Angel
(#6)

141873

NAF El Centro, CA Double immelman during practice. Lieutenant Bill Worley killed    
1st August 1969   F-4J Phantom II 153075
Con No 1552
block 26
         
1st August 1969   F-4J Phantom II 153078
Con No 1592
block 27
         
   From the date it would appear that both a/c crashed same day
was it a collision and where ?    any ideas to these two a/c
19th September 1969
USN
F‑4J Phantom II Blue Angel   San Francisco
Bay
CAPT Vince D. Donile
ejected
  Martin-Baker
6th November 1969
USN
F‑4J Phantom II Blue Angel
 #2
  Crashed near El Paso, Texas     Martin-Baker
CAPT Vince D. Donile
ejected
CAPT Kevin O'Mara
ejected
[O'Mara went on
to become the CO of VMFA-232 "Red Devils"]
Martin-Baker
FEEDBACK Thanks to Ashley O'Mara for updating the details of her father-in-law Captain Kevin O'Mara's position with as flying Blue Angel #2, not #3, during the 1970 and 1971 seasons.
in email 7th January 2012 - amended 7th January 2012
30th August 1970
USN

                                                                                                               photo: Ardis Guyer
Martin-Baker
F‑4J Phantom II Blue Angel
(#4)

153085

Cedar Rapids AP, IA, USA

belly landed with one engine stuck in afterburner. aircraft ran off runway

pilot Lt. Ernie Christensen
eject
ed
 

With reference to the Blue Angel F-4 crash in Cedar Rapids Iowa in 1970. My mother - Ardis Guyer - took that photo as one of a sequence of photos of the crash, and I still have the slide of that shot. The quality of the slide has deteriorated over the years, but it is the exact same photo. Is it possible to give her credit for the photo? She's 92 now, but still remembers the whole event. I use to work with Kevin O'Mara, who was the number 2 Blue Angel flying that day. We both worked for Northrop Grumman. He had never seen that photo, and was amazed how good it looked. thank you,

Evan Guyer
in email 27th December 2011
credit added 27th December 2011

 

FEEDBACK

The pilot who crashed Blue Angel #4 in Cedar Rapids Iowa in August 1970 did safely eject from the aircraft.  The Phantom got back into the air and travelled another mile or so before coming to a halt in a corn field.  I was there that day and vividly remember the incident.  He forgot to put his landing gear down.

Best Regards,

Bob Mallett
in email 31st July 2009

FEEDBACK

Within our ranks there were reports that it was pilot error. In a newspaper interview in 74 Ernie said it was in fact his
error.
See:  LINK

It takes a big Man and an ever bigger Pilot to admit his errors. My hat still goes off to this highly decorated combat pilot.
I was Lt. Christensen's Crew Chief in 69 and rode the back seat  of #3 F4 with him, his flying was motivating for my future.
Dave Kent
UAL 747-400 Capt. Ret.
Blue Angel Alumni Association-Director
Crew Chief  F4 #3  68/69

RSVP
in email 14th February 2011

Friday 4th June 1971
USN
F‑4J Phantom II Blue Angel    Caught fire during
practice. Crashed over Narragansett Bay near the ex-NAS Quonset Point in Rhode
Island.
Cmdr Harley Hall ejected

[see also 27th January 1973]

Martin-Baker
FEEDBACK

 

Good job on the website!! I love it.

I also want to pass on an ejection you missed. It occurred on 5 June  1971 over Narragansett Bay near the ex-NAS Quonset Point in Rhode  Island. Blue Angels Cmdr Harley Hall's F-4 caught fire during Friday  practice and punched out over the Bay. The canopy and small fragments of  the jet are at the Quonset Air Museum. I photographed the canopy as proof.

He was going to try to bring the burning jet in to the air station, but  his team mates suggested he punch out. It was a small article in our  Journal. I still have a xeroxed copy of the clipping that someone gave me a  long time ago.

Also this was the same Harley Hall who was one of the last pilots killed  in the Vietnam War. He and his RIO LCDR Phillip Allen Kientzler (POW)  were downed by AAA in F-4J 155768 with VF-143. The date was 27 January  1973... the day the Paris Peace Accords were signed.

Keep up the good work!!
Bob Zoglio
in email 19th June 2007

 

Monday 14th February 1972
USN
F‑4J Phantom II 153086
No.7

Blue Angels
NAF El Centro
Crashed while practising. Struck ground during winter training   Martin-Baker
Lt. Larry Bell Watters 29
Fresno, California
killed
no occupant Martin-Baker

 

Thanks to Chuck Cronan for correcting the date of Larry's loss and providing the photo (1961 Bullard High School, Fresno, CA
in emails 14th -15th 2012

FEEDBACK

Lt. Larry Watters my bud and fellow Naval Aviator died right side up, not inverted, at winter training.  You can see him buy it on the Threshold film.
Best,
Phil "Quickdraw" Slaton
in email 11th March 2010
Larry Watters entry amended 12th March 2010

   
23rd July 1972

Combat Ejection


USN
A‑7B, Corsair II 154532 NF 400 VA‑56
USS Midway
AAA, over North Vietnam LCdr Clarence Orfield "Smokey" Tolbert
ejected
recovered
[see also 6th November 1972]
pic Douglas Escapac
                 
 

Chatting with a work associate the other day and we enjoyed perusing your web site.  He flew F-4s in Vietnam with the USMC.  I related to him that I had seen a Blue Angel ejection at an air show in 1972 but we didn't see it listed.  

Date - July 1972
Location - Stallings Field
            Kinston, NC

Circumstances- As the show concluded, No. 1 appeared to land short and kicked up a big dust cloud.  The F-4 veered towards the grandstand and viewing area to the pilot's left, plowing up a lot of dirt along the way.  Only briefly did it seem like it was perhaps headed into the crowd.  Then it took a path more parallel to the viewing area but headed directly towards Fat Albert.  No. 1 ejected just before the F-4 hit a pick-up truck that was parked near Fat Albert.  The narrator picked up the narrative about the pilots' training and the other Blue Angels circled once before landing safely.  

Don't know if this fits the criteria for the ejection list but No. 1 definitely ejected.  Fortunately his chute seemed to function properly and I don't think he was injured badly.

I've seen the Blue Angels on many occasions and am thrilled and proud in my heart every time.  

Bill Wicks
Valdosta, GA

   

6th November 1972

Combat Loss


USN
A‑7B, Corsair II 154540, NF 403 VA‑56
USS Midway
AAA, over North Vietnam LCdr Clarence Orfield "Smokey" Tolbert
KIA
[see also
23rd July 1972]
  Douglas Escapac
An article appeared in the November 15, 1972 edition of Nhan Dan newspaper  in Hanoi which stated that the Vietnamese forces had shot down a U.S.  aircraft on that date and that the pilot ejected but the parachute did not  open. This is disputed by LCdr Tolbert's wingman who witnessed the Crsair dive into the ground without the pilot ejecting.
FEEDBACK

"I was a member of the Blue Angels maintenance team from January 1967 to September 1969.  During the 1968 show season my pilot was Lt. C.O. "Smokey" Tolbert.  He flew number 6 jet that year. At the end of the season he transferred to a fleet squadron flying the A-7 aircraft. On November 6, 1972 while on a mission over VietNam he was shot down and never recovered."                      

H. E. Smokey Ellefson
Vice President
www.blueangelsalumni.org
in email 4th January 2010

SEE ALSO

Thanks to Kenley Blotner for permission to link to the following on LtCdr Tolbert
http://www.maxcarey.com/americasgiftmain.html

   
27th January 1973

Combat Loss


USN
F‑4J
Phantom II

Taproom 113

155768
NK 113
VF‑143 Pukin' Dogs
CVW‑9
USS Enterprise
CVAN-65
AAA fire while pulling off target 15 miles northwest of Quang Tri, Vietnam

(the RIO  LCdr P A Kientzler
 POW / DIC)

Cdr Harley H. Hall
POW / DIC

[see also 4th June 1971]

Martin-Baker
Mk.H-7
   
8th March 1973
USN
F‑4J Phantom II Blue Angels
153079
NAFC El Centro Collided with other Blue Angels F-4Js during practice over Imperial Valley, California, USA
Lt. Cdr. D. K. Bently
Martin-Baker
Mk.H-7
8th March 1973
USN
F‑4J Phantom II Blue Angel
153080
NAFC El Centro Collided with other Blue Angels F-4Js during practice over Imperial Valley, California, USA
Capt. J. R. Fogg
Martin-Baker
Mk.H-7
8th March 1973
USN
F‑4J Phantom II Blue Angel
153083
NAFC El Centro Collided with other Blue Angels F-4Js during practice over Imperial Valley, California, USA
Lt.Cdr. Marlin D. Wiita
Martin-Baker
Mk.H-7
  photos courtesy of Len Mozey Blue Angels Alumni Association 
   
8th July 1973
USN
F-4J Phantom II
Blue Angel


153876
  Crashed in Lake Charles, LA. Ejection sequence happened after the plane bounced off the runway Lt. Steve D. Lambert ejected uninjured at very low altitude. Martin-Baker
Mk.H-7
   
26th July 1973
USN
F‑4J Phantom II
Blue Angels 4
153081 NAS Lakehurst, NJ, USA collided at low level with 153072 during arrival practice   Martin-Baker
Mk.H-7
Captain Mike Murphy
USMC
 
killed
Petty Off. 1st Class Ronald Thomas
killed
Martin-Baker
Mk.H-7
26th July 1973
USN
F‑4J Phantom II
Blue Angels1
153072 NAS Lakehurst, NJ, USA collided at low level with 153081 during arrival practice   Martin-Baker
Mk.H-7
Lieutenant Commander Marvin Francis "Skip" Umstead, Jr,
 USN Killed
ADJ.1C Gerald Harvey ejected safely Martin-Baker
Mk.H-7
FEEDBACK


My duties as the senior base policeman qualify me as an expert witness to this accident.  The midair collision occurred about 1630 local after conducting a local safety check landmark verification that was also known as the pre-arrival air show.  The two aircraft section was climbing and joining the other two aircraft section heading about 150(T) about one mile south of the centre of the station jump circle.  The aircraft impacted at about 40-01N/74-22W at about 2000 ft. altitude.  The aircraft made contact with the ground and crossed two lane highway at about 39-59N/74-21W.  Google earth maps were used for the measurements.

My vehicle was located in front southwest side of the tower.  Upon seeing the fireball I proceeded to back gate of the base, picked up a Navy Corpsman at the off base housing complex called Pinehurst and was the first station vehicle to arrive at the crash scene.

The missing name on your website is that of the plane captain for the Bureau Number 153072.  The  survivor  of the crash was recovered from a tree, taken to medical and the chapel.  After being found fit to fly he was transferred to NAS Pensacola in one of the remaining spare Blue Angels F-4's.

The Air Show continued for the next two days.  Captain Nealon was the CO of the base at the time.

Oldnacl
in email 10th August 2007

FEEDBACK

I was checking out your site on Blue Angels ejections/losses and I noticed that you wanted to know who was flying which planes when LCDR Skip Umstead and Capt. Mike Murphy were killed 26JULY73.  LCDR Umstead had previously been a team pilot flying solo and returned to the fleet after his tour.  He was recalled as team leader in the 1973 season, so he was flying the #1 jet.  Capt. Murphy was flying slot (#4 during the 1973 season). 

As a youngster, I was at the Lake Charles, LA airshow when Lt. Steve Lambert in #5 crashed.  Never will forget that sight and have a couple of grainy pictures on my desk today from a few seconds before the impact.

Bobbie J

in email 29th April 2008

  1506         F-4J        26.07.73                   A/C No 1
 
1620         F-4J         26.07.73                  A/c No  2
22nd February 1977
USN
A‑4F Skyhawk Blue Angel
(#6)

154202

NAF El Centro, CA Flew into ground during practice Lieutenant Nile Kraft killed    
7th November 1978
USN
A‑4F Skyhawk Blue Angel
(#6)

155056

Naval Air Station Miramar, CA Flew into ground during arrival practice Lt. Michael R. "Mike" Curtin killed
[check name Curtain ??]
   

Regarding the spelling of Blue Angel #6 Mike Curtin (Killed 7 November 1978), I can assure you that it is indeed Curtin.

In 1977 I was involved in an Aviation explorer post.  Our big event of the year was a fly-in in Pensacola for the Blue Angels Homecoming weekend, their last show of the season.  We stayed on barracks on the base and had a reserved section for the air show. The highlight of the weekend was dinner with the Blues the night before the show.  Each explorer post had one member of the team seated with them at their table. The pilot at our table was just rotating in with the Blues, and was going to be flying the opposing solo position starting in the 1978 season. I was fortunate to be seated next to Lt. Curtin. At the end of the evening, I got Lt. Curtin to autograph his seating card for me, and I have that very card sitting in front of me as I type this. There is definitely not an a (Curtain) in the spelling of his name. I can also verify that Lt. Curtin was the pilot of Blue Angels #6.

Ken Stricker
in email 25th June 2009

31st May 1980
USN
 A-4F Skyhawk Blue Angel(#5)

 155177

NAS Roosevelt Roads, PR Fuel line fire during show. Crash landed into swamp Lt Jim Ross unhurt    
22nd February 1982
USN
 A-4F Skyhawk Blue Angel(#5)

154975

NAF El Centro, CA Dirty loop, stalled A/C  during practice Lieutenant Commander Stu Powrie killed pic  
13th July 1985
USN
A‑4F Skyhawk Blue Angel
(#5)


155029


NAS Niagara

collided with A‑4F 154992  #6 on the top of a loop during display, Niagara Falls IAP, NY, USA

photos courtesy of
Len Mozey

Lt. Andy Caputi ejected safely Escapac
13th July 1985
USN
A‑4F Skyhawk Blue Angel
(#6)


154992
 


NAS Niagara

collided with A‑4F 155029  #5 on the top of a loop during display, Niagara Falls IAP, NY, USA

photos courtesy of
Len Mozey

LCdr
Mike Gershon killed
Escapac
12th February 1987
US
F/A-18A Hornet Blue Angel
(#5)

161522

NAF El Centro, CA Engine failure during practice. Lt Dave Anderson Ejected OK.    
23rd January 1990
US
F-18A Hornet "Blue Angel"(#2)


161524

NAF El Centro, CA Mid-air collision with another Blue Angels #1  F/A‑18A which landed safely, p . El Centro, California, Superstition mountains, CA, USA Pilot Capt Chase Moseley ejected Martin-Baker
Thursday 29th October 1999
USN
F/A-18B Hornet
 

Blue Angel
(#3)

161932

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga Crashed during a training flight  while preparing to land at Moody Air Force Base near Valdosta, Ga
                photo. usn
no ejections
Lt. Cmdr. Kieron O'Connor killed Lt. Kevin Colling killed
1st December 2004
USN
F/A‑18A
 

 

Blue Angel
(#6)

161956


 
Touched water during solo practice. Hit water 6 M offshore in Gulf of Mexico nr Perdido Key,  about a mile from the barrier island of Perdido Key, near the Florida-Alabama border USA Lieutenant Ted Steelman  ejected safely
               photo. usn
Martin-Baker
SJU-5A
Saturday 21st April 2007
USN
F/A-18
Hornet
Blue Angel
(#6)
162897
MCAS Beaufort, SC   Crashed  at low level during an air show at Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort, S.C

Hit tree during formation rejoin during show

Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Davis  killed
                   photo. usn
 
 

 

Acknowledgements

      Appreciation and thanks to

      H. E. "Smokey" Ellefson   www.blueangelsalumni.org
      Len Mozey  
     
Steve H.        for addition information and amendments

      Tom Bispo       -     Blue Angels Alumni Association member
    


 

               Help appreciated in adding details / amendments / photos to any of the mentioned mishaps.

 Below are temporary  links to specific Aerobatic Teams and their Losses and Ejections - All are considered works in progress and addition material / amendments welcomed - and acknowledged


Blue Angels

Red Arrows

Snowbirds
 Frecce Tricolor
Green Falcons

 

 

page last updated / amended

Monday, 05. August 2013 19:37

Hit Counter