From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Derek Holmquist '73

Date of birth: March 15, 1951

Date of death: April 1, 1985

Age: 34

Lucky Bag

From the 1973 Lucky Bag:


From Daily News of Bowling Green, Kentucky on April 3, 1985:

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Aircraft from the carrier Nimitz along with Air Force and Army units searched a large area of jungle and mountains in Panama for two Navy fliers whose A-6 Intruder jet disappeared. The men were identified as Lt. Cmdr. Derek Holmquist, 35, of McLean, the pilot, and Lt. Glenn Ziegler, 25, of Upper Darby, Pa., the bombardier-navigator. Holmquist and Ziegler, missing since Monday, are assigned to Attack Squadron 35 based at Oceana Naval Air Station.

As reported on the Aviation Safety Network site of the Flight Safety Foundation:

A-6E Intruder BuNo. 161673/AJ-503 of VA-35, US Navy, crashed near coast of Venezuela during training mission Apr 1, 1985 North West of Santiago, Panama while operating from USS Nimitz (CVN-68). Plane and its two crew has never been found.

From 28 March– to 12 Apr 1985, due to heightened tensions resulting from fighting against Marxist rebels in Central America, the USS Nimitz steamed off the eastern coast of that isthmus for “U.S. Naval Presence Operations.”

Other Information

From researcher Kathy Franz:

Derek graduated from McLean High School in 1969. SC rep 1; French Club 1; California Scholastic Federation 1, 2; Football 1; JV Football 2; Varsity Football 3, 4; JV Wrestling 1; Varsity Wrestling 2, 3; Track 1, 3; Varsity Club 3, 4; French Honor Society 3; National Honor Society 3, 4.

He was on the rugby team at the Naval Academy.

His obituary in Shipmate said he was survived by his wife, Beth, daughter, Kristen, and son, Carl; it also reported he was from California.

He has a memory marker in Arlington National Cemetery.


From Find A Grave:

Derek was my blood brother -- the only one I ever had. I only knew him as a neighbor for about 2 years, but we were in Cub Scouts together, and spent hours in each others company. We were also about 12 days apart in age. RIP old blood brother

J Butz, 6 Mar 2016


Related Articles

Glenn Ziegler '81 was also lost in this crash.

Class of 1973

Derek is one of 10 members of the Class of 1973 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of the alumni in Memorial Hall.