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Birthdate & Date of Loss

Date of birth: March 16, 1928
Date of death: April 22, 1959
Age: 31

Lucky Bag

1949 Mergl LB.jpg

From the 1949 Lucky Bag:

Richard Mergl


Entering at the tender age of 17, Dick was a younger member of the class, whose beardless face never let his classmates forget that one inferiority. A regional accent unmistakeably from Long Island revealed his native state; a short residence in Florida, however, convinced him that he would eventually settle down in rebel territory. Confining his activities to sports he expected to use in later years, he could be found either on the golf course, tennis courts, bowling alleys, or in the swimming pool, enjoying his free time to the fullest. Quiet and rather unassuming during Plebe Summer, he soon learned that these qualities were unproductive in a Naval career and exchanged them for an ever-ready smile and friendship winning manner.


From an entry at VP Navy:

My father, LCDR Richard Anton Mergl, and four other military personel were killed while perfoming a bombing training mission over Lake George in the town of Seville Florida Volusia county. He was attatched to heavy attack squardron VAH-7 at NAS Sanford, Florida April 22, 1958. I would love to find a VAH-7 patch and a model A 3D Skywarrior. He graduated from the Naval Academy in 1949. Could anyone help me gather more information. My grandson wants to go to the Naval Academy. Deborah Mergl Johnstone, Wednesday, September 14th, 2016 at 3:20 pm.

From the Skywarrior Guest Book:

Hello, my name is Richard Anton Mergl Jr., my father is Lt. Richard Anton Mergl Sr. When I was 2yrs. old he and four other military personel were killed while perfoming a bombing training mission over Lake George in the town of Seville Florida Volusia county. He was attatched to heavy attack squardron VAH-7 of NAS Sanford Florida. They were all were presumed dead, the A-3D crashed into 8ft of water. Lt Cmdr. Weigles was the pilot flying that day. When I was old enough to understand what happened to my daddy my mommy was to sick to expain anything to me, she past away when I was 15yrs old. Just recently I made a trip to Lake George and Sanford even Jacksonville hoping to find something about my father and his crash. The only thing I found was 3 articles in the Sanford Herald at the Sanford Museum. I couldn't even print them because they had no printer for microfish. I only found 3 articles on the 22nd, 23rd, and 24th. And found nothing in the paper about bodies or plane parts being taken out of the water. All it said was a recovery team was sent from Jacksonville NAS. and that he crahed 5 miles east of Seville. Thats a whole lot of plane for nothing to have come out of the water when the recovery team went out. I went to records and vital statictics and there is no death certificate. He crashed April 22nd 1959, anyone if you can please help me. Richard Anton Mergl, Jr., October 21, 2008 at 7:10 pm

In response:

i was attached to vah 7 at the time of this accident,and i know that almost all of this aircraft was recovered and roughly reassembled in a hanger at nas sanford. i also recall that some body parts were recovered,but i don`t know this as a fact. i recall this wreckage in the hanger and and i remember it was hard to believe how badly this aircraft was destroyed. but as i remember only four people were aboard this aircraft!!the only name i recall is lt. cdr weigel an extreemly safety concerned pilot,although i think this accident was ruled as pilot error. lake george was drug for days after this accident. they were preforming a loft bombing mannuver when this happened, i hope this was informative… John Wardlaw, October 26, 2009 at 1:52 am

On the Skywarrior Lost in Line of Duty List, the accident date is listed as 4/22/1959. The pilot is listed as LCDR Howard L. Weigle — not "Weigles" as cited above — and there were four total casualties, not four + Richard. (Other two were AMH2 Rodney Des Roslers and AT3 Richard W. Jones.)

Related Articles

Howard Weigle '46 was also lost in this crash.

Class Navigation

Class of 1949
Richard is one of 40 members of the Class of 1949 in Memorial Hall.
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