JAMES G. HICKS, LT, USN
James Hicks '67
Date of birth: March 23, 1945
Date of death: September 30, 1971
From the 1967 Lucky Bag:
From the January 1972 issue of Shipmate in the Class of 1967 column:
September 30 we lost one of the most talented and respected men I have ever known. Jim Hicks died in an aircraft accident while flying his A-7E from Enterprise which is presently serving in West Pac.
Jim was to have completed his second cruise with VA-97 in October and had orders to report to Patuxent Naval Test Center in preparation for his attending the British Empire Test School.
For all those who knew Jim, he was a gentle, quiet, resourceful man, whose capability seemed unlimited as did his energy.
Jim's wife, Charlotte, and her two children will be living with Jim's parents … Albuquerque, NM.
The accident occurred at sea off NAS Cubi Point, Philippines, the day before VA-97/USS Enterprise (CVN 65) was to return to the war zone in Vietnam. He graduated from the Light Attack Weapons School at China Lake in 1970.
From the Class of 1967's 50th Reunion Yearbook, courtesy of William Belden '67:
Following graduation, Jim remained at the Academy to train the incoming plebe class (’71) in YPs. He reported to NAS Pensacola for flight training in September 1967. He stood #1 in every phase of his flight training. After earning his wings he was assigned to A -7s in Lemoore, CA prior to completing legal officer training in Newport, RI.
Following RAG training in Lemoore, he was assigned to the VA-97 Warhawks and made a combat cruise on the Constellation. While on a 2nd combat cruise on the Enterprise, he was selected for training at the British Empire Test Pilot School. As the top junior officer in his squadron, he was within a week of leaving the squadron when he lost his life in an aircraft accident at sea on September 30, 1971.
Jim’s body was not recovered and his name is inscribed in Memorial Hall and on the “Bodies Not Returned” monument at the USNA Cemetery.
Jim married Charlotte Curlett, who he met June Week, Plebe Year. They were married in the Navy Chapel on November 23, 1967. Jim and Charlotte welcomed Kerry in 1968 and James Grayson II (Grayson) in 1971. Kerry graduated from UC Santa Barbara and is married and living in San Francisco. Grayson graduated from Syracuse University, is married and lives in Washington, DC. Charlotte subsequently married our Class President, Dave Church who was a widower.
One of our classmates had the following comments to make about the death of Jim: “For all those who knew Jim, he was a gentle, quiet, resourceful man, whose capability seemed unlimited as did his energy”.
We, his classmates and companymates, remember him as a fun-loving “20th Company Bagger” who was “all-in” academically and athletically at school. We miss him and know that he will be watching over us as we gather for our 50th Reunion.
James Wickes '67 was also in 20th Company.