From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Ronald Mobayed '91

Date of birth: January 23, 1968

Date of death: October 3, 1995

Age: 27

Lucky Bag

From the 1991 Lucky Bag:


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.


From USNA '91:

The class of 1991 mourns the passing of Ronald J. Mobayed, 27, who died on 3 October [1995] when the CH-46 SEA KNIGHT helicopter he was flying went down in the Atlantic near Virginia Beach during training exercises.

A very special person, Ronny Mo touched the lives of many of us, and he will be sorely missed by all who had the pleasure of serving with him. He is survived by his father Joseph; mother Vivian; sisters Lori, Lynn, and Julie; brother Kenneth; and fiancee Suzanna Lamorte.

Growing up in Brooklyn, Ronny was competitive from the start. To control his enthusiasm, his family had a 'harness' created for him, with a rope tethered to keep him from wandering too far. Ronny dealt with this situation as he would later do at the Academy and flight training, he conquered through perseverance and sheer will. Eventually, little Ron was able to break his reins and free himself, much to the dismay of his family. At age eight, Ron and family moved to Springfield, Virginia. Ron would continue to excel both in school and on the playing field. He was an outstanding athlete, starring in football, basketball, baseball, and wrestling at West Springfield High School. In the classroom, Ron was exceptional, and a member of the National Honor Society. He was a natural leader who exuded confidence and enthusiasm, traits which would become most evident during his years in the Navy.

Ron gained acceptance to the Naval Academy Preparatory School in Newport, RI in the summer of 1986. There he made the first of what would become a large cadre of great friends. The relationships developed that first summer in Newport have carried on until today, as he always remained in touch with friends, mo matter where you were. At the Academy, Ron became a very popular member of the Class of '91 through his goodwill, kindness and zest for life. His entrance would often light up any midshipman gathering, as you just knew good things were in store when Ronny Mo was with the group. Ron played catcher on the baseball team until a pitch hit him in the eye. He not only almost lost his future career in flying, but his eyesight as well. But he battled back; the injury eventually healed and Ron was back in the lineup, this time playing football. Ron walked on the 150's team his junior year and won a starting spot. He was having a banner year when bad luck struck again, this time a severe knee injury that again threatened his chances to fly. Though Ronny Mo was MIDN 1/C Whiteworks his firstie year, he was once again able to overcome a potentially career-ending injury. Thus he was able to select his first love, naval aviation, on service selection night.

Onward to Pensacola to pursue his dream. In Florida, Ron became involved with the Big Brother/Big Sister Foundation, actively sponsoring a "little brother" in the Pensacola area. Ronny loved children, and soon he and Kyle became inseparable. Ron was the father figure presence that Kyle never had; and surely Kyle looked to Ron for the strength and support that much of his family and friends had drawn upon for years. Kyle meant so much to Ron that he had included Kyle as one of the major beneficiaries in his will. This is the kind of charitable man that we knew, who would literally give you the shirt off his back if it meant helping someone out.

Ron came to Virginia Beach and Helicopter Combat Support Squadron Six full of energy and excitement. He completed a Mediterranean deployment with an HC-6 detachment, and returned with French wines and Turkish rugs. Ronny loved to cook exotic meals and enjoyed fine wines. This proved a boon to his roommates, who could sway a date with an excellent bottle of Israeli or French wine, or hire chef Ronald to prepare a culinary delight. Ronny Mo was quite the well-rounded naval officer. While in Virginia Beach, this most romantic guy finally found love, and literally in his own back yard. He met Suzanna Lamorte of Oakton, Virginia shortly before a trip to Panama. His extensive writing, which he was always good at, kept the channels open and the two of them soon became a pair. On 30 September, he proposed to Suzanna, and both of them were on top of the world. They were to be wed at the Academy Chapel on 19 October 1996.

Ron was a hero to those who knew him. He was a special person in that he always brought good cheer to life, even when he himself may have been down inside. His enthusiasm infected those who worked with him, he was a joy to serve with. He was our friend, our brother, our son, our love. Ronny Mo will be sorely missed, but not forgotten; for the virtues and tenets by which he lived, his life will be remembered and followed by those who knew him.

Related Articles

Robert Vogel '89 was also lost in this crash.

Class of 1991

Ronald is one of 10 members of the Class of 1991 on Virtual Memorial Hall.