From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

David Hess '54

Date of birth: July 28, 1929

Date of death: April 28, 1961

Age: 31

Lucky Bag

From the 1954 Lucky Bag:


1954 Hess 1.jpg

Dave was lost when he died of injuries sustained when his Lockheed F-104A Starfighter exploded during departure from George AFB on April 7, 1961. He died on April 28 and is buried in California; he was survived by his parents.

Dave was a "Sidewinder project officer" — believe this to be the AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missile.

From the August 1961 issue of Shipmate:

It is my sad duty to report the death of DA VID L. HESS at the hospital at Ft Sam Houston, Tex., on 28 Apr, 1961 as a result of injuries sustained in an aircraft accident at George AFB, Calif. Dave was one of the most highly rated officers ever to graduate from the Test Pilot program at Pax River, Md. The Marine Corps has suffered the loss of a most promising young officer, but we, as a class, have lost one of our finest shipmates.

Class of 1954

David is one of 37 members of the Class of 1954 on Virtual Memorial Hall.