ANTHONY R. DOMINO, LCDR, USNR

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Anthony Domino '91

Date of birth: November 1, 1968

Date of death: April 18, 2003

Age: 34

Lucky Bag

From the 1991 Lucky Bag:


Shipmate

From USNA '91:

Lieutenant Commander Anthony "Fats" Domino, USNR, died on April 18, 2003 when his F-5E Tiger II aircraft struck the ground while returning from a Top Gun event near NAS Fallon, NV.

Tony was the oldest of four brothers growing up on his parents' farm in Middletown, DE. Growing up, his interests included the outdoors, hunting, fishing, and helping with his father's standard bred horses.

At the Naval Academy, Tony distinguished himself on the football field, starting three years as on outside linebacker, wearing number 60. Off the field, he was known for high-speed runs to Ocean City, MD, in his red Corvette. His parents were also well known for taking in more than a few hungry Midshipmen. If you have seen the size of Tony and his brothers you know the Dominos took a few extra hungry mouths in stride.

After graduation Fats reported to flight training. Going the Corpus Christi/Kingsville route, he was Winged in 1993 with orders to the Tomcat FRS. After completing Tomcat training, he was sent to the Jolly Rogers of VF-103 where he supported missions in Bosnia-Herzegovina as well as Operation Southern Watch in Iraq. His next assignment was to the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center, working in the Air Wing Training Department. There, he served as an adversary mission commander, as well as an air-to-air/air-to-ground tactics instructor. In 2001 Fats left active duty and joined the Fighting Saints of VFC-13 at NAS Fallon as an adversary instructor pilot. Fats was also a commercial airline pilot, flying the Airbus A320 for Jet Blue Airways.

Lieutenant Commander Domino's awards included two Strike/Flight Air Medals, two Armed Forces Service Medals, an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, and a NATO Medal.

Funeral services were held on 28 April 2003. The small church in Delaware City, DE, was filled beyond capacity, with hundreds of people standing inside and outside the church to pay their last respects. Attendees included Delaware Senator Joseph Biden, who gave Fats his nomination to the Naval Academy and continued to follow his career. Lieutenant Commander Anthony Domino was buried with full military honors including a fly-by of four F-14s from ComFitWingLant. With his death we have lost a great friend, brother, son, and wingman. Those who knew him have all commented on his gregarious spirit, outgoing nature, and love of life.

Shipmate, September 2003

Loss

From The News Journal on April 22, 2003:

Domino, 34, died during a training flight in an F-5E Tiger II, a single-seat fighter, which took him through rain and snow about Anthony 10 miles south of Domino Fallon Naval Air Station. Authorities said Domino did not eject from the jet, and the crash is still under investigation....

He joined the reserves in October 2001 and trained adversary squadron pilots as Top Gun aviators. In December, he was hired by JetBlue Airways as a commercial pilot. Domino had been visiting the Nevada station during a 10-day training cycle with the "Fighting Saints," a reserve squadron.

While in high school, he was an honor society member. He played varsity basketball and football, and played in the Delaware High School All-Star Football Game at the end of his senior year. Two brothers, Alex and Alan, also played in the all-star game.

Alex Domino also followed Anthony into the Navy, where he played offensive tackle and is now a surface warfare officer stationed at Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base in Virginia Beach, Va.

Anthony Domino was happier in the air than on land, his second-youngest brother, Andrew, said. "He was a very charismatic, competitive and motivated individual," Andrew Domino said. "Everybody remembers his smile and his laugh. It was contagious and infectious."

Anthony Domino hasn't lived in Delaware since graduating from high school, but he stayed close to family and friends. His last visit was two weeks ago to see his parents, Anthony Domino Jr. of Port Penn, and Joyce Ann Domino of Newport His mother said she planned to visit her oldest son in New York later this year and fly with him for the first time.

One of her greatest joys was visiting Domino on the Enterprise and watching him conduct a mock dogfight and touchdown on the aircraft carrier. Joyce Ann Domino described Anthony Domino and her other sons as very ambitious but also "gentle and fair." "He always took the time to talk to people," she said. "He really did."

Obituary

From The News Journal (Wilmington, Delaware) on April 27, 2003:

LCDR Anthony R. Domino "Tony" Died April 18, 2003 in an F-5E Tiger crash in the desert outside of Fallon Naval Air Station in Fallon, NV. Anthony was born in Wilmington, DE on November 1, 1968. He graduated from Arch-mere Academy high school with honors in 1987 and later graduated from the United states Naval Academy in 1991. While in high school, he was a member of the National Honor Society and played varsity football and basketball. While at the United States Naval Academy, he played football and later received his Bachelor of Science degree in political science in 1991. He had numerous achievements while at the academy and on the football team. One of his proudest accomplishments as a football player was beating Army in 1989, his junior year. After graduation from college, Anthony was commissioned as an ensign in the Navy and reported to Pensacola, FL for flight training. He was an outstanding student and in 1993, earned his wings of gold in Kingsville, TX after being awarded Top Hook honors for his class. He received a coveted billet to fly F-14 Tomcats and reported to Virginia Beach, VA. After completing Tomcat training, he was sent to the Jolly Rodgers of VF-103, where he deployed twice onboard the carriers Enterprise and Eisenhower. While flying on the tip of the spear, LCDR Domino supported missions in Bosnia-Herzegovina as well as Operation Southern Watch in Iraq. His next assignment was to the Naval Strike Air Warfare Center, where he was an adversary mission commander as well as a Carrier Air to Air/Air to Ground tactics instructor. In 2001, Anthony, call sign "Fats", joined the Naval Reserve and was assigned to VFC-13, the Fighting Saints, at NAS Fallon, NV, where he served as an adversary instructor pilot. Anthony was also a commercial airline pilot, flying for Jet Blue Airways in New York City, NY. Lieutenant Commander Domino's awards included 2 Strike/Flight Air Medals, the National Defense Service Medal, 2 Armed Forces Service Medals, an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and a NATO Medal.

Anthony was survived by his mother, father, and three brothers.

Memorial Hall Error

According to Shipmate and his headstone, Anthony was a Lieutenant Commander in the Naval Reserve; Memorial Hall has LT, USN.


Class of 1991

Anthony is one of 10 members of the Class of 1991 on Virtual Memorial Hall.