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Charles Jackson '70

Date of birth: April 24, 1948

Date of death: April 11, 1976

Age: 27

Lucky Bag

From the 1970 Lucky Bag:


From the Command History Report of Fighter Squadron 11 date stamped April 7, 1977:

On April 1st, USS FORRESTAL (CV-59) with CVW-17 aboard, departed Mayport, FL. and commenced Type Training phase I. On April 7th, RIPPER aircraft 113, crewed by pilot LT Charles P. Jackson and RIO LT James W. Piehl, was lost while conducting a night carrier landing. LT Piehl was lost at sea and LT Jackson died of injuries sustained in the accident. On 10 April, USS FORRESTAL (CV-59), returned to Mayport, FL. and memorial services were held.


From the Class of 1970 40th Reunion Book:

I met Pat sophomore year when he transferred from Abilene, Texas. He was tall, lanky, wore cowboy boots and a huge belt buckle!! Who could resist his determination and infectious sense of humor? Pat always wanted USNA. That was all he talked about. We were friends all through high school. When he visited me on his way to Plebe Summer we realized that we liked each other A LOT more than just friends.

After a four-year, long-distance relationship, graduation and marriage couldn’t come quickly enough. After Pat received his wings in Kingsville, Texas, we were “stashed” at NAS Oceana. The best of VF-43 was the “heart” of the squadron. Our son, Patrick Andrew Jackson, was born a little early and the whole squadron focused on getting Pat home from TDY in time for his birth at Portsmouth Naval Hospital. No dad could have been more proud of a son. Andy proved the genetic link was very strong when he chose to become an Air Force pilot.

After VR-43, Pat still longed to fly the F-4. He got his chance when he was ordered to VF11, The Red Rippers. Pat always dreamed of being a Blue Angel or a test pilot. We won’t ever really know if those hopes would have been realized because his plane crash-landed on the carrier during his “work ups” for the Rippers’ next deployment. And even though he never regained consciousness, I know that he never regretted his choice to fly Navy Air; it was what he was meant to do. His favorite saying for being shot off the carrier was “It’s the most fun I’ve ever had with my clothes on” and for hooking the wire to land, “… a piece of cake ... IF you're smooth.”


From the July-August 1976 issue of Shipmate.

From the July-August 1976 issue of Shipmate:

Lt. Charles Patrick Jackson USN died on 11 April 1976 at St. Vincent's Hospital, Jacksonville, Florida, after having been severely injured in an aircraft accident on board USS Forrestal on the night of 9 April. While making an approach to the flight deck of the ship in heavy weather, his aircraft struck the ramp and exploded. Although he ejected from the plane, the high winds prevented clearance of the deck, resulting in critical injuries.

Lt. Jackson entered the Naval Academy from the State of Texas and was graduated in the Class of 1970. Upon graduation he was assigned temporary duty as a sailing instructor at the Academy, then reported to Pensacola as a swimming instructor until he began flight training. He was enrolled in the University of West Florida's masters program in the College of Engineering while taking flight instruction and he was designated naval aviator in May of 1972. He thereupon reported to Fighter Squadron 43 as an instrument flight instructor for two years duty, then trained with VF-101 before joining Fighter Squadron 11 in the Mediterranean in July of 1975. As a member of the Red Rippers he served in the maintenance department as aircraft division officer and quality assurance officer. As a naval officer he was not only a fighter pilot but a man dedicated to his command and a qualified deck officer. As a citizen he served as a Little League Baseball Coach and helped establish that organization wherever he served.

He is survived by his widow, Kathy Lynn, and their one-year-old son, Patrick Andrew.

He is buried in Virginia.


Pat was appointed to USNA by Senator Herman Talmadge of Georgia in 1966. Born in Florida, he grew up in Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Georgia, and on Okinawa.

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Richard Creighton '70 was also in 8th Company.

Class of 1970

Charles is one of 20 members of the Class of 1970 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.