From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Wayne McCord '48

Date of birth: November 8, 1926

Date of death: March 18, 1963

Age: 36

Lucky Bag

From the 1948 Lucky Bag:


Wayne was lost on March 18, 1963 when his A-6A crashed during flight testing. There were no other crew aboard; he was flying from Patuxent River Naval Air Station. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

From The Enterprise (Lexington Park, MD) on March 21, 1963:

A Naval Air Test Center test pilot was still missing Wednesday following the crash of his Grumman A6A "Intruder" aircraft in about 30 feet of water off the northwestern tip of Smith Island in Chesapeake Bay Monday afternoon.

Although rescue operations were started immediately after the plane was discovered Monday, no trace of the pilot has been found. The Navy had crash and diving boats and a floating crane at the scene in an attempt to pull the plane from the muddy bottom.

The pilot was identified as Lt. Cdr. Wayne S. McCord, 6, of Auburn, Washington. Cdr. McCord lived with his wife and their three children at 311 MirField Lane, Lexington Park.

A Navy spokesman said the plane took off from the Test Center at 10:55 a.m. Monday on a two hour routine test flight. When the plane failed to return within the allotted time, Naval Air Station search-and-rescue Aircraft began an extensive search of the area where the plane was working.


From the May 1963 issue of Shipmate:

It is with a deep sense of sorrow that we must report the loss of one of our most outstanding classmates, WAYNE SMITH McCORD, on 18 March. In carrying out that part of his service life which he most loved, Wayne died in the crash of an A6A(A2F) while conducting flight tests at the Naval Air Test Center, Patuxent River, Md. His death comes not only as a great loss to his wife Nancy and three children, but also to those who have known him well, to us his classmates, to the naval service and our Nation.

Having graduated from the Academy with the top of the class, Wayne first tested his sea legs with the Greyhounds of the Fleet on the USS MCCAFFREY, as Assistant Engineering Officer. Though his tour in destroyers was to his liking, his greatest ambition was to seek a career with the airdales. By 1949, he found himself strapped to an SNJ in the Training Command. Wayne was designated a Naval Aviator in August 1950. A tour with VK-3 at Atlantic City convinced him that he should seek additional education in aeronautical engineering, consequently, he requested and was accepted for Postgraduate School, Aeronautical Engineering, at Monterey. In 1956, Wayne received his M.S. degree at the University of Michigan. Following a tour with the Staff of OpDevFor, Atlantic, he joined the tail-hook Navy, first with VF-82 and then VF-84 as Maintenance Officer and Operations Officer. 1960 and 1961 found Wayne back at the books as a student at the Naval War College and then Test Pilot School at Patuxent River. His selection for test pilot training was in recognition of the exceptional accomplishments he made in aviation with the Fleet and at Postgraduate School. His selection proved to be a wise one in that upon graduation from Test Pilot School he received the deserved and distinguished honor as Outstanding Student.

Those who worked with Wayne at Patuxent River know of the outstanding reputation and high esteem in which he was held by all—contemporaries, juniors and seniors alike—not only as a naval officer, but as a gentleman of the highest integrity and personal standards. Having a particular talent for technical matters, he was perfectly suited for his duties at the Test Center, and until the moment of his untimely accident, his performance in the Flight Test Division had been but a continuation of a sparkling career.

We, of the Class of 1949, salute this exceptional naval officer. We are proud to have been his classmates and extend our sincerest sympathy and love to those he leaves behind.


Wayne graduated the Naval War College on June 14, 1961.

Class of 1948

Wayne is one of 48 members of the Class of 1948 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of the alumni in Memorial Hall.