From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Donald Fantozzi '47

Date of birth: July 10, 1924

Date of death: July 12, 1950

Age: 26

Lucky Bag

From the 1947 Lucky Bag:


From The Oakland Tribune on July 13, 1950:

The pilot of a Navy F8-F Bearcat fighter plane which crashed into the ocean 10 miles off Point Reyes late yesterday was identified by the Navy today as Lieut. (j.g.) Donald William Fantozzi, 26, of 1545-D Santa Clara Avenue, Alameda.

The plane was on a routine training mission from Alameda Naval Air Station when it went into an uncontrolled spin. Fantozzi's wing man said he followed the plane down to 500 feet when it was lost in the fog.

Fantozzi, a member of Air Group 19, is presumed lost.

His wife, Faye, an expectant mother, lives at the Alameda address. His father, William, lives in Chicago, and his mother, Elvira, in Oak Park, Ill.

His wife gave birth to their daughter, Donna Fae, on August 11, 1950 in the Oak Knoll Naval Hospital, Oakland, California.


From Oral History of Admiral William J. Crowe, Jr. U.S. Navy (Retired) in 2009:

Admiral Crowe: … I had another roommate first-class year named Fantozzi. He was also a piece of work. He was an Italian boy from Chicago. His father was the head of a national symphony orchestra up in Chicago. One thing was overriding in his world. That was girls. He loved to chase girls. He was a very smart guy. He went to the University of Illinois and damn near flunked out. But he got to the Naval Academy, where we were regulated, so when he had to study he studied, and he did extremely well. But first-class year, June Week, there was a lot of partying going on. Graduation was the end of the week. He came in after a big drinking bout and, instead of going through the front door the way you’re supposed to, he knew he couldn’t get by there, so he climbed over a railing over the moat outside of Bancroft Hall to go in the window of a bedroom, and fell. Fell in the moat. Hit his head, got a concussion, and didn’t graduate for another month or two. They put him in the hospital, and then he got out and graduated. Later killed flying. But I can remember he fell that night in the moat.

I had a wonderful story about Fantozzi. I was in Washington one night on a weekend, and I met a Puerto Rican girl, very young—13 or 14, 15, maybe. Very attractive. I asked her if she’d ever seen the Naval Academy, and she said no, she’d never seen it. I said, “Well, why don’t you come down and see it?” She said, “I can’t come down there, what are you talking about?” She said, “If you want me to come down there, write my mother.” So I wrote her mother. And I got a nice letter back from her mother that said, well, she’d be glad to have her come down, but she would be chaperoned by Ms. So-and-so, and she named the name of this woman, who was 30 years old, something like that. She could come down for the afternoon on Sunday if that would be all right. I said that’d be fine. So I asked Fantozzi to go with me.

They drove up in a convertible, and we introduced everybody around. I got in the back seat with the girl I’d met. This woman drove us to a bar that we knew of somewhere that we thought we could drink. She let the girl and me out to go in and drink beer. Then she drove Fantozzi into the woods and screwed him all afternoon.

Paul Stillwell: Some chaperone.

Admiral Crowe: That’s right. Then she came back and picked us up before we had to be in. The girl and I had a nice conversation. Fantozzi just fell into the whole thing. He had a talent for that sort of thing. I thought that was hilarious. That’s the kind of chaperone I was interested in.

Class of 1947

Donald is one of 29 members of the Class of 1947 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

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