NILE R. KRAFT, LT, USN
Nile Kraft '69
Date of birth: April 28, 1947
Date of death: February 22, 1977
From the 1969 Lucky Bag:
From the May 1977 issue of Shipmate:
Lt. Nile Rogers Kraft USN, a member of the Naval Flight Demonstration Team, died on 22 February 1977 in an aircraft accident near El Centro, California. Mass of Christian Burial and interment were held at Arlington National Cemetery.
Entering the Naval Academy after a period of service with the Naval Air Reserve, he was graduated in the Class of 1969 with a degree in weapons systems engineering. Flight training followed and he was designated naval aviator in December 1970, thereupon reporting to NAS Lemoore to begin training in the A7-E Corsair II. He later joined VA-192 and compiled a record of 223 combat missions flown and 333 carrier-artested landings. His decorations included two Distinguished Flying Crosses, 26 Air Medals (three of which were for individual action), 8 Navy Commendation Medals with Combat V, 2 Navy Unit Commendations, the Meritorious Unit Commendation, the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, the Gallantry Cross Unit Citation, and service and campaign medals. In March 1974 he returned to VA-122 as an instructor pilot, then joined the Blue Angels in October 1975. His first duties were as narrator of the maneuvers of the team, then he began his training to become Blue Angel number 6, one of the two opposing solos. This training included the winter flight session at the Naval Parachute Test Center, El Centro.
He is survived by his widow, Cathy, 508 Chanterelle Drive; Pensacola FL 32506, and his parents, Capt. (Ret.) and Mrs. Elmer Kraft, Rt. 1, Oilman IL 60938.
He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.