PATRICK W. O'NEIL, LT, USN
Patrick O'Neil '70
Date of birth: February 23, 1948
Date of death: June 13, 1978
From the 1970 Lucky Bag:
From the September 1978 issue of Shipmate:
Lt. Patrick Warten O'Neil USN died on 13 June 1978 in an aircraft accident at the naval air station, Patuxent, Maryland. LCdr. Clinton J. Farmer USN '66, died in the same accident. A joint memorial service for the two pilots was held at the station chapel on 16 June.
Appointed to the Naval Academy from the State of Virginia, Lt. O'Neil was graduated with the Class of 1970 and proceeded to flight training, being designated naval aviator in 1972. He was assigned to VF-74 at the naval air station, Oceana, Virginia, through 1975, then attended test pilot school in 1976 and was assigned to Strike Aircraft Test Directorate.
He is survived by his widow, Linda, two sons and a daughter, all of Leonardtown, Maryland.
From the Class of 1970 40th Reunion Book:
Pat arrived at the Naval Academy from Alexandria, Virginia, son of Rear Admiral Warren O’Neil (USNA ’45) and younger brother of Mike (USNA ’68). He flourished at the Academy and quickly became a leader among his classmates, earning respect and admiration for the quality of his character, his intelligence, and athletic prowess. The last of which earned him the nickname, “Scooter,” for the way he moved about the field during competition. He was the company representative to the Honor Committee. He knew he was going to be a Naval Aviator and he wanted to fly the F-4 Phantom jet. He displayed a model of the supersonic jet, given to him by his father, on his desk.
While at the Academy, he met the love of his life, Linda. They later married and after graduation set out to Pensacola, Florida, on their Navy adventure. He achieved his first goal in 1972, when he was awarded the “Wings of Gold” as a Naval Aviator and subsequently went to the Replacement Air Group at Naval Air Station, Oceana, where Naval Aviators train on the specific aircraft they have been assigned to fly. In Scooter’s case, it was the F-4 Phantom. After the RAG, he deployed with a Carrier Battle Group to the Mediterranean Sea with his Oceana-based F-4 squadron and excelled. His talents were doubly honored when he was selected for Navy Test Pilot School and selected early for Lieutenant Commander.
Pat’s Navy adventure tragically ended on June 13, 1978, at Naval Air Station, Patuxent River, Maryland, when the plane he was flying crashed during landing. He left behind Linda and three young children; the oldest who was eight years old. The Navy lost one of its very best, but his family lost more. Going to the Academy, the bar for character is set high, but seldom comes along a man who was so pure, honest, loyal, and generous. He raised the bar for those who knew him. He was recognized as an exceptional Naval Aviator, but he was most proud of his role as a husband and father. He is missed.
Clinton Farmer '66 was also lost in this crash.
Leo Rolek, Jr. '70 was also in 22nd Company.