JAMES M. DEE, LCDR, USN
James Dee '83
Date of birth: February 25, 1961
Date of death: February 24, 1996
EA-6B "Prowler" from Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 135 crashed during a routine flight from USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63). LCDR James Dee and LT Thomas Francis were killed. LT Charles Luttrell and LT Derrick Busse were injured. 24 Feb. 1996.
Lieutenant Commander Jim "Jambo" Dee was born in New York City on 25 February 1961 to Thomas J. and Maria E. Dee. Following his 1978 graduation from Cardinal Spellman High School in the Bronx, he began work on an engineering degree at Manhattan College in New York. He was accepted into the United States Naval Academy and received his commission in May 1983. Following graduation he reported to Naval Flight School, Pensacola, FL. He earned his "Wings of Gold"" and was designated a Naval Flight Officer in August 1984.
Upon completion of EA-6B training with VAQ- 129, Lieutenant Commander Dee was assigned to VAQ-140. While in VAQ-140 he made two deployments to the Mediterranean Sea aboard JOHN F. KENNEDY (CV -67) and EISENHOWER (CVN-69). Following his tour with the "Patriots,"' Lieutenant Commander Dee was selected for Naval Test Pilot School, Patuxent River, MD and reported in January 1989. After completion he reported to Systems Engineering Test Directorate, Naval Air Test Center, Patuxent River as EA-6B project officer. His work there included EA-6B/HARM Block 3 Integration, testing of the USQ-113 Radio Countermeasures Set and the Tactical EA-6B Mission Planning Systems. Lieutenant Commander Dee was then assigned to the staff of Commander in Chief, United States European Command, Vaihingen, Germany as Staff Communications Officer, from July 1992 until July 1994. In Germany he was responsible for the restructuring of the Defense Communications System in Europe and he coordinated the initial visits of the military-to-military contact team with the former Warsaw Pact countries. Lieutenant Commander Dee retumed from Europe and was again assigned to VAQ-129 until January 1995 when he reported to V AQ-135 as Electronic Warfare Officer and then Operations Officer. He deployed with the "Black Ravens" aboard ABRAHAM LINCOLN (C V N -72) to the Indian Ocean and Arabian Gulf in support of "Operation Southern Watch" and served with KITTY HAWK (CV-63) in preparation for her 1996 deployment.
Lieutenant Commander Dee logged over 1900 flight hours in 25 different airframes and accumulated 440 cartier landings. His awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal (First and Second Strike/Flight), the Navy Commendation Medal (gold star in lieu of second award), the Navy Achievement Medal, the Joint Meritorious Unit Commendation, the Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, the National Defense Service Medal, the Southwest Asia Defense Service Medal (with bronze star), the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (with 2 bronze stars), and the Navy/Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon (with bronze star). He was also awarded the Eaton System Excellence Award ("Prowler Award") in 1987.
Lieutenant Commander Dee holds a Master of Science in Aviation Systems from the University of Tennessee and a Bachelor of Science in Applied Science from the United States Naval Academy.
Lieutenant Commander Dee is survived by his wife Cynthia; his mother Maria Dee of Marblehead, MA; his sisters Katherine Updegrove, also of Marblehead, and Laura Dee of New York City; his brother Commander Thoraas Dee; and several nieces and nephews.
Lieutenant Commander James "Jambo" Dee was an inspiration to all who had the privilege of serving with him. Jambo's sense of huraor, absolute dedication to the service of his country, and his passion for carrier aviation will forever be remembered by his squadronmates, friends and family.