JAMES F. LAZEVNICK, LTJG, USN
James Lazevnick '84
Date of birth: December 20, 1961
Date of death: July 30, 1987
From the 1984 Lucky Bag:
From NJ.com on July 8, 2013:
Lt. j.g. James F. Lazevnick was a member of the United States Navy, serving in the Persian Gulf. He and his wife Linda lived in Newport News, Va.
Lazevnick was from Paulsboro and the son of John J. 'Jake' Lazevnick and Elizabeth 'Betty' (Taylor) Lazevnick.
Lazevnick's father, Jake, was a Navy pilot during World War II, who taught mathematics at Paulsboro High School and later became principal of the school.
Lazevnick was one of four children, his siblings being Mary Beth, John and Joseph.
Lazevnick’s cousin, Robert M. Damminger, Gloucester County’s freeholder director, but then a Paulsboro councilman, said, “He loved the Naval Academy ... His family is very proud of him.”
On July 30, 1987, Lazevnick, co-piloting the SH-3 Sea King helicopter he was assigned to, was killed when it crashed into the sea while attempting to land on USS LaSalle, the command ship of United States Naval Forces protecting Kuwaiti oil tankers in the Persian Gulf against attack from Iran.
Lazevnick now rests at his beloved U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md.
Other casualties of the 30 July 1987 “Desert Duck” crash Lt. William E. Ramsburg, 31, of Scotland, S.D., the pilot; Radioman 2nd Class Albert B. Duparl of Saint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Air Force Lt. Col. Horace S. Gentle, 44, of Mooresville, N.C., a staff officer with the U.S. Central Command.
The Herald-News reported that earlier during this first tour James "helped rescue servicemen wounded in the missile attack on the USS Stark in the Persian Gulf."
From the December 1987 issue of Shipmate:
Lt(jg) James Lazavnick USN died in a helicopter crash in the Persian Gulf on 30 July 1987. A funeral service was held in Paulsboro, New Jersey, on 8 August; inurnment took place at the Naval Academy Cemetery.
He was co-piloting a Sea King helicopter, ferrying supplies from shore to USS LASALLE off Bahrain, when the SH-3D crashed into the side of the ship while trying to land. At the time there were rough seas and high winds in the area. Lt(jg) Lazevnick was attached to Helicopter Support Squadron Two.
Born in Camden, New Jersey, he grew up in Paulsboro, attending St. John's Church and parish school, and Paulsboro High School. He participated in football, basketball and track, and reported high school scores to the local newspaper. He was a member of the student government association and the National Honor Society. He was his high school's homecoming chairman during his senior year. He submitted poems to his school's literary magazine and also worked part-time at the local K-mart store.
Appointed to the Naval Academy from New Jersey, he graduated in the top third of the Class of 1984. He married the former Linda Parker of Waldorf, Maryland, and served two years at the Academy as an instructor before undergoing flight training in Pensacola, Florida, which he completed in March 1986.
He was first assigned to Helicopter Support Squadron One in Pensacola and joined Helicopter Support Squadron Two at NAS Norfolk last March.
He deployed to the Persian Gulf in April and the next month helped rescue crewmen from the ill-fated USS STARK.
He is survived by his widow, Linda; his parents, John J. and Elizabeth of Paulsboro; two brothers, John B. of SaUsbury, N.C. and Joseph P. of Paulsboro; and a sister, Mary Beth of Clementon, N.J.
A life member of the Naval Academy Alumni Association, his family has donated his Class Ring to the USNAAA Ring Collection at the Naval Academy Museum. The family desires that memorials in his name can be made to the Naval Academy Alumni Association.
James' class ring is on display at the US Naval Academy Museum.