From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Robert Vogel '89

Date of birth: February 13, 1966

Date of death: October 3, 1995

Age: 29

Lucky Bag

1989 Vogel LB.jpg


From The Washington Post on October 5, 1995:

A Navy helicopter carrying four crewmen on a training exercise crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the Virginia coast, and search teams recovered the body of one victim, the Navy said yesterday.

The search for the three other members of the H-46 Sea Knight crew was called off late in the day. They are presumed dead, said Cmdr. Kevin Wensing, a spokesman for the Navy's Atlantic Fleet Air Force.

The helicopter was about 10 miles from the amphibious assault ship Guam when it was reported missing shortly after 9 p.m. Tuesday, Wensing said. The crash site is about 50 miles east of Cape Henry Lighthouse in Virginia Beach.

The dual-engine helicopter, which can carry about 12 people, was assigned to Combat Support Squadron 6 at Norfolk Naval Air Station.

The body, as well as some debris from the aircraft, was recovered by a search team from the Guam soon after the crash.

The Navy identified the helicopter pilots as Lt. Ronald J. Mobayed, 27, of Springfield, and Lt. Robert W. Vogel, 29, of Newtown, Conn. The crewmen were identified as Petty Officer 2nd Class Daniel R. Biddle, 26, of Burgoon, Ohio, an avionics electronic technician, and Petty Officer 3rd Class Eric M. Hakel, 23, of Mechanicsburg, Pa., an avionics electronic technician. The Navy said Biddle's body was recovered.

The cause of the crash is under investigation, Wensing said.


Lieutenant Robert W. Vogel was killed in a helicopter crash on 3 October 1995 during a search and rescue mission off Cape Henry, Virginia. A funeral service and military burial was held in Newtown, Connecticut on 22 October 1995.

Rob was born on 13 February 1966 in Groton, CT. He graduated from Newtown High School in 1984 and attended Lafayette University for three years before his persistency prevailed in gaining acceptance to the Naval Academy. His determination and innate leadership ability served to earn him the billet of 14th Company Commander his first class year. He graduated with a degree in Ocean Engineering.

After commissioning, he attended Naval Flight Training and flew helicopters until July 1991, when an automobile accident left him nearly paralyzed. During his recovery, Rob qualified Engineering Officer of the Watch and Surface Warfare Officer on SACRAMENTO during deployment to Somalia and the Persian Gulf.

Through exemplary willpower and a great love for flight, Rob retumed to flight status in 1994 and deployed to the Adriatic on KEARSARGE in support of peacekeeping operations off Serbia. He had recentiy returned home to HC-6 at Norfolk Naval Air Station when his CH-46 SEA KNIGHT went down at sea.

Rob is survived by his parents, Robert and Judy Vogel of Alpharetta, Georgia; his sister, Karen Vogel, and his maternal grandparents, Robert and Grace Southbury. His father graduated from the Naval Academy in 1961.

Rob will be remembered for his outstanding perseverance and unselfish generosity toward others. He faced every setback with firm resolve, and heroically gave his life attempting to rescue others at sea.

Memorial contributions should be made to Navy Relief Mention the "LT Robert W. Vogel Memorial" in a memo and mailed to: LT Robert W. Vogel Memorial Navy Relief Society, 801 N Randolph St, Suite 1228 Arlington, VA 22203-1978. The fund will help provide aid to Navy families in time of disttess.


The Lt. Robert W. Vogel, USN Memorial Scholarship Fund is a four-year scholarship is for graduating seniors from Newtown High School in Newtown, Connecticut, who have demonstrated academic achievement, school and community leadership, and financial need. To qualify for this scholarship, applicants must show a commitment to pursuing an academic curriculum leading to a degree at a four-year accredited college or university.

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Ronald Mobayed '91 was also lost in this crash.

Class of 1989

Robert is one of 6 members of the Class of 1989 on Virtual Memorial Hall.