CHARLES D. POTTER, LT, USN
Charles Potter '70
Date of birth: June 26, 1948
Date of death: December 23, 1976
From the 1970 Lucky Bag:
Chuck was killed when his RF-8G crashed into Burnt Peak in California on December 23, 1976. He was a member of Light Photographic Squadron (VFP) 63.
From a newspaper article on December 26, 1976 (submitted by Gary Vine '70 via Mike Novak '70):
Crash Kills Navy Pilot. A 29-year-old U.S. Navy lieutenant, identified as Charles D. Potter of Poway, was killed when his plane exploded and crashed 26 miles west of Lancaster early Thursday afternoon. The crash touched off a brush fire in the Sawmill Mountains which burned approximately 15 acres before controlled.
Sheriff’s officials said the plane, an F-8, was based at the Miramar Naval Air Station at San Diego. Lt. Potter was assigned to the light photo reconnaissance squadron there.
The crash occurred shortly before 2 p.m. and witnesses said the plane disintegrated before impact. Lt. Potter’s body was found a short distance from the crash scene. Apparently, he had unsuccessfully attempted to eject. Responding to the scene were military and sheriff’s helicopters with paramedic personnel.
Lt. Potter is survived by his wife, Donna, and four-year-old son, of Poway, and his parents who reside in Laguna Beach.
The fire, pinpointed near Atmore Meadows just above Upper Snake was officially contained at 11 p.m. Thursday. At the height of the blaze, approximately 150 men, including U.S. Forest personnel, county firemen and camp crews, were fighting to bring it under control. Equipment and men deployed numbered nine engines, three helicopters and four camp crews.