Three Rivers Historical Society
Vol. No. 6 Issue No. 2, April-May-June, 2009
e Blue Angels
e Blue Angels were
formed at the end of World War II, by the order of Chester Nimitz, the Chief of Naval Operations. He wanted a flight demonstration team to keep the public interested in naval aviation. ey performed their first flight
demonstration at their home base, Naval Air Station Jacksonville, FL in June 1946. ey were flying the Grumman F6F Hellcat, led by Lt. Cmdr.
Crew 1964, Courtesy U.
Roy Voris. In 1947, the team introduced the now famous “Diamond Formation.”
By the end of the 1940’s they were flying their first jet aircraft. e Korean Conflict required their talents be used in the war effort but they reorganized in 1950 and reported to NAS Corpus Christi, Texas flying the Panther, F9F-5. ey remained at Corpus Christi until the winter of 1954, relocating to their present home base at NAS Pensacola, Florida. ey did their winter training in Key West.
With the start of the Cuban Missile Crisis the base at Key West was needed for military purposes and the Blue Angels wintered at NAS Litchfield, AZ from 1963 to 1965. By this time they were flying the F11F-1 and practiced everyday in the skies over the west valley. At the end of each winter season they would perform their show for the local citizens.
S. Navy In 1966 they began to winter in El Centro, CA.
In 1974 the Navy Flight Demonstration Team was reorganized as the Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron establishing a commanding officer and support officers and further defined the mission supporting the recruitment effort.
eir current aircraft is the F/A-18 Hornet, the
first dual-role fighter/attack aircraft now serving our military. In the 2006 show season they performed for more than 15 million spectators.
ey returned for an air show at the Phoenix/
Goodyear Airport that year. My son-in-law is a Naval Aviator and was able to get us VIP seats for
the show! I never tire of watching the “Blues.” by Sally Kiko
I talked to one of the pilots, Commander Ross, and a mechanic, Len Mosey, who were here with the “Blues” in the ‘60s. e pilot remembered that they never missed a day flying because the weather was so great. e mechanic remembered that it was a great place because with all the planes in “mothballs,” there were plenty of spare parts available. Also that the Enlisted Men’s Club had Lucky Lager beer for ten cents a glass!
2006 Blue Angel eam with Gene & Linda Arnold, Ken & Sally Kiko.