From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Richard Waggener '22

Date of birth: December 27, 1900

Date of death: August 10, 1927

Age: 26

Lucky Bag

From the 1922 Lucky Bag:


1922 Waggener 1.jpg

From Find A Grave:

From the Santa Cruz Evening News (Santa Cruz, California), Wednesday, August 10, 1927, page 1:

Plane Crashes Into Point Loma When On the Way North

San Diego, Cal. - Aug. 10- Lieuts. George Covell and R. S. Waggener, U. S. N., who left here today in an airplane they had entered in the Dole flight to Honolulu, were killed when their airplane crashed into Point Loma near here. The plane was destroyed less than fifteen minutes after it left her for the Oakland air port, where they intended taking off Friday on the Honolulu flight.

Bursts into Flame

The plane burst into flames after it struck Point Loma. An orderly of the naval coaling station and La Playa residents stated it was reported both bodies had been recovered.

From the position of the plane it was believed it had struck the west bank of Point Loma as the airman endeavored to gain altitude.

The low winged monoplane which Covell and Waggener planned to fly to San Francisco for the Honolulu flight was a type entirely different from any before seen here. The plane was built by William D. Tremaine at Brea, Calif., from where Covell and Waggener started for San Diego last Saturday, only to be forced down near Escondido because of a broken oil feed line. After repairs had been made they continued their flight to San Diego, landing here late in the day. The plane was different from the usual monoplane in that its wings swung from the fuselage. In fact the whole body of the plane rested on the wings. The planes wings had a spread of 47 feet 6 inches, 7 feet wide, and had seven fuel tanks with a capacity of 645 gallons of gasoline and 35 gallons of oil were carried in the plane, which weighted two and a half tons and had a cruising speed of 100 miles an hour.

Seen Through the Fog

First reports of the crash came from the La Playa district, a small town on the edge of the reservation. It appears that some one saw the crash through the fog and made a report to the police authorities. No one in the reservation knew anything about it until their attention was called to it.

The naval air station, located on the top of the promontory near the end, reported having seen nothing. Fort Rosecrans reservation is practically the whole outer portion of Point Loma. Owing to the armament located there many parts are inaccessible and heavy brush prevent moving about.

Lieutenant Covell was born in Ellis, Neb., in 1899, and joined the aviation service of the navy in 1925. He resided at 327 B. avenue, Coronado and was married and had two children.

Lieutenant Waggener was a native of Warrington, Fla., and was twenty six years old. He made his home at officers headquarters, North Island. Waggener was not married but fellow officers stated he was engaged to be married, although they do not know the name of his fiancee.

Related Articles

Richard Waggener, left, with George Covell, in front of their aircraft Tremain Spirit of John Rodgers shortly before their crash.
1922 Covell Waggener 2.jpg

George Covell '22 was also lost in this crash.

Vilas Knope '20 was lost a few days later in the actual race.

Class of 1922

Richard is one of 27 members of the Class of 1922 on Virtual Memorial Hall.