From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

John Smith, Jr. '77

Date of birth: December 21, 1953

Date of death: December 8, 1979

Age: 25

Lucky Bag

From the 1977 Lucky Bag:


John was lost on December 8, 1979, in the crash of his S-3A Viking aircraft near Rota, Spain.


From the March 1980 issue of Shipmate:

Lt.(jg) John Willie Smith Jr. USN was killed when his S-3A aircraft crashed into the sea off the coast of Spain on 8 December 1979. A memorial service was held concurrently a t the Cecil Field Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida, and aboard USS FORRESTAL on 12 December.

Born in Fort Lee, Virginia, he was the elder son in a family of six children and was appointed to the Naval Academy from the State of Virginia. While at the Academy, he was an active member of the karate club. Upon graduation with the Class of 1977, he was assigned to VP-45 as assistant to the administration officer and first lieutenant until reporting for flight training in January of 1978. He was designated naval flight officer on 19 October 1978 and following completion of the replacement air group syllabus at VS-41, reported to VS-30 in September 1979.

His absence will be deeply felt by his family and friends, the aviation community, and especially by those who grew to know and depend on him— the men of Air Antisubmarine Squadron 30.

He is survived by his widow Phyliss, 1948 Old Middleburg Road, Jacksonville FL 32202."

More information about the accident on December 9 can be found here.

Class of 1977

John is one of 16 members of the Class of 1977 on Virtual Memorial Hall.