KENNETH W. ILGENFRITZ, LCDR, USN
Kenneth Ilgenfritz '68
Date of birth: May 22, 1946
Date of death: January 14, 1978
From the 1968 Lucky Bag:
From the April 1978 issue of Shipmate:
LCdr. Kenneth William Ilgenfritz USNwas killed in an aircraft accident near Wilmington, North Carolina, on 14 January 1978. Memorial services were held at the Zion EvangelicEil Lutheran Church in Baltimore, Maryland, on 23 January with interment in the Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens.
Appointed to the Naval Academy from the State of Pennsylvania, he was graduated with the Class of 1968 and entered flight training at once. Upon being designated naval aviator, he joined the carrier Intrepid for a three-year tour, then returned to the Naval Academy as an instructor. In June 1977 he returned to sea, joining Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 125. He was flying from the carrier John F Kennedy as a pilot of an E-2C Hawkeye when the crash occurred. He had recentiy been commended for his flight record while assigned to the carrier.
He is survived by his widow, Cheryl, of Virginia Beach. Virginia; his parents and a sister, all of Baltimore.
From VC-12 / VAW-12 :
The most unforgettable character from my VAW-12 AND VAW-121 days would be hands down, Lt. Ken Ilgenfritz. He arrived at VAW-121 in early 1979 as a jg fresh out of flight training and RVAW-120 and was assigned to Det 11. He quickly was advanced within the Det from Maintenance Control Officer to Maintenance Officer. He was a ‘67 USNA grad who had paid attention to all that was being taught there. Mr. Ilgenfritz was without a doubt, the finest Naval Officer that I ever served under during my 23 year career. He was fair, listened to his men, especially his Chiefs and then had the ability to make a quick and well informed decision. He was well liked by Officers and Enlisted alike and was on the fast track to the top. That, however, was not to be. After being assigned to RVAW-120 and being promoted to LCDR, he was subsequently transferred to VAW-125. It was during a flyaway to homeplate from USS JFK that he and his entire crew were lost during a crash near Supply, NC on Jan. 14, 1978. The accident investigation and voice communication from the plane indicated that they had no elevator control over the aircraft. Seems that the decision to bail out was make too late. A real decent human being and totally unforgettable. FC Bogler ADRC USN-Ret
The Command History of VAW-125 has some more details.
Thomas Tardy '68 was also in 4th Company.