From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Mark Gontkovic '76

Date of birth: September 7, 1953

Date of death: December 6, 1979

Age: 26

Lucky Bag

1976 Gontkovic LB.jpg


Tony was lost on December 6, 1979 in a A-6E Intruder that crashed in the Mediterranean during practice bombing run at the Avgo Ni Si training range in Crete. He was the pilot, operating from USS Nimitz with Attack Squadron 35 (VA-35).

From the March 1980 issue of Shipmate:

Lt.Gg) Mark Stephen Gontkovic USN was killed in the crash of his A-6 Intruder aircraft in the Mediterranean Sea off the island of Avgo Nisi, north of Crete, on 6 December 1979. Lt.(jg) Anthony J. Bilotti USN '77, the naval fight officer, was also lost in the crash. The plane was operating off the carrier NIMITZ. Memorial services for the two officers held on board NIMITZ on 7 December 1979 at sea.

Lt.(jg) Gontkovic, a native of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, attended the Naval Academy Preparatory School at Bainbridge, Maryland, prior to joining the Class of 1976 at the Naval Academy. Upon graduation from the Academy he was ordered to Pensacola to commence flight training, then completed this training at Beeville, Texas, and was awarded his naval aviator's wings in January 1978. He later was assigned to VA-42 at Virginia Beach, Virginia, for training in the Intruder. Upon completion of this training and designation as an attack pilot he joined Attack Squadron 35, also serving as the squadron's legal officer.

He is survived by his widow Nancy, and his mother, Mrs. Ann Gontkovic.


The video of the Naval Academy Alumni Association's Honor Our Fallen Heroes weekend for 2016 includes Mark's brother Charles.

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Anthony Bilotti '77 was also lost in this crash.

Class of 1976

Mark is one of 11 members of the Class of 1976 on Virtual Memorial Hall.