JACK A. FISHER, LCDR, USN
Jack Fisher '70
Date of birth: April 12, 1947
Date of death: October 29, 1981
From the 1970 Lucky Bag:
Jack was lost near Virginia Beach, VA in an EA-6B from VAQ-138 on October 29, 1981.
From Aviation Safety:
A United States Navy Grumman EA-6B Prowler, BuNo 159582, 'AC-604', of VAQ-138, from NAS Whidbey Island, Washington, crashed at 08:50 hours into a field off London Bridge Road about three miles from the Oceana runway, killing three crew members. Wreckage sprayed onto nearby houses, a barn and a stable with 35 horses, but no fires were sparked and there were no ground injuries. According to a contemporary newspaper report:
A second cup of coffee may have saved Clinton Midgett and his family from serious injury - even death - when a flaming Navy EA6B prowler jet plowed into a horse pasture next to his father's house. Three Navy aviators from Whidbey Island, Washington, Naval Air Station were killed in the Thursday crash. The Prowler was en route to the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy off the Virginia coast when the crash occurred at 8:40 a.m., 8 minutes after takeoff from Norfolk Naval Air Station. "Normally, our routine would be for us to be on our way to the stable and let the horses out into the pasture," said Midgett, 31, whose father owns the Princess Anne Stables. "We would have been walking right across the pasture.
Instead, the weather was gray and overcast, and Midgett's mother poured a second cup of coffee before the day's chores began. As they sipped their coffee in the den, near a window overlooking the pasture, the low-flying jet skimmed across the wood-rail fence surrounding the pasture. * "I heard the loud swish of a jet - very low - an explosion, a fireball and then impact," Midgett said. "We hear jets all the time. We knew it was abnormal for it to be so low. We dived first and then ran toward the other end of the house. As soon as it subsided, we went out the front of the house."
Debris and mud rained down on the house, puncturing dozens of *grapefruit-sized holes in the roof. The explosion blew flower pots through screens and windows, said Midgett's sister, Pat Murray. Atlantic Fleet Naval Air Force spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Tom Connor identified the victims as: Lt. James H. Mallory Jr., 26, the pilot, of Savannah, Ga.; Lt. Cmdr. Jack A. Fisher, age unknown, of Stockton, Calif.; and Lt. Alfred J. Dupont Jr., age unknown, of Belle Vue, Wash.
All three aviators were stationed at Whidbey Island, Wash., Naval Air Station and resided in Oak Harbor, Wash. Navy officials had not ascertained the cause late Thursday but speculated the ill-fated plane may have been attempting an emergency landing at Oceana, two miles from the crash site, although air traffic controllers said the crew had made no contact with the tower.
Midgett said the pilot appeared to have carefully guided the plane into the pasture, halfway between the house and the stable. "He put it down in the best possible spot if he was going to put it any place," said Midgett. "I don't know if they were riding it to the ground to protect humanity, but if they did, I said a prayer for them."
The flaming aircraft, which exploded into thousands of small chunks, plowed a 10-foot-deep crater into the pasture, and debris from the impact scattered for more than a half-mile around. The Navy said the three crewmen aboard the Prowler were killed, but there were no injuries on the ground, "With all the houses around, It's a miracle nobody else was hurt," said A.C. "Ace" Ewers, spokesman for Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia Beach
From a published newspaper obituary on November 4, 1981 (submitted by Gary Vine '70 via Mike Novak '70):
Memorial services for LCDR. Jack A. Fisher, USN, Lt. Alfred J. Dupont, USN, and Lt. James H. Mallory, USN, from the Ault Field Chapel, Wednesday Nov. 4 at 11 a.m. CDR. Robert Greco, CHC, USN and LCDR Ronald W. McCarthy, CHC, USN officiating.
LCDR Jack Alan Fisher was born April 12, 1947 in Stockton, Calif. Where he attended high school and junior college. He received his appointment to the United States Naval Academy in 1966. He earned his Bachelor of Naval Science and was commissioned in the United States Navy in June 1970. He received Naval Flight Officer Wings in March of 1971, after completion of electronic warfare school. Naval tours commenced with VQ-2 Rota, Spain from August 1971 through August 1974 flying strategic reconnaissance missions as an electronic warfare evaluator, served as geographical area intelligence analyst in West Germany from August 1974 through August 1976.
He underwent EA-6B training at VAQ-129 at Whidbey Naval Air Station. From 1976 to the present he had been a resident of Oak Harbor. He reported to VAQ-133 as electronic warfare officer making cruises on the USS John F. Kennedy and USS Forrestal in the Sixth Fleet from May of 1977 to November 1979. He was assigned to VAQ-129 as squadron assistance operations officer and oater as Squadron Safety Officer from November 1979 until July of this year. He reported to VAAQ-138 as Administrative Officer in July of this year.
Naval awards include Meritorious Unit Citation (USS Roosevelt), Navy unit commendation (VQ-2), Joint Service Commendation (Eudac), and National Defense Service Medal.
He is survived by his wife, Jane Robin Fisher, one daughter, Robin Ginou Marie Fisher of Oak Harbor, his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Harrison Fisher, and one brother, William Fisher, all of Stockton, Calif.
He has a marker in Washington.
From the April 1982 issue (submitted by Gary Vine '70 via Mike Novak '70):
LCdr. Jack Alan Fisher USN was killed in an aircraft accident during a routine flight mission from Norfolk, Virginia, to the carrier USS JOHN F. Kennedy on 29 October 1981. Memorial services were held at the Ault Field Chapel, Whidbey Island, Washington on 4 November. Also killed in the crash were Lt. Alfred J. Dupont USN and Lt. James H. Mallory USN.
Appointed to the Naval Academy from the State of California, LCdr. Fisher was graduated with the Class of 1970 and ordered to instruction as a naval flight officer, receiving his wings in 1971. Naval tours began with VQ-2 Rota, Spain, form August 1971 to August 1974, flying strategic reconnaissance missions as an electronic warfare evaluator, then serving as a geographical area intelligence analyst in West Germany from August 1974 through August 1976.
Later he had training with VAQ-129 at Whidbey Naval Air Station, and from 1976 was a resident of Oak Harbor. He also served with VAQ-133 as electronic warfare officer, making cruises in KENNEDY and FORRESTAL with the Sixth Fleet May of 1977 to November 1979. He was assigned to VAQ-129 as squadron assistant operations officer and later squadron safety officer from November 1979 until July 1981, and then reported to VAQ-138 as administrative officer.
His decorations included the Meritorious Unit Citation, the Navy Unit Commendation, and the Joint Service Commendation.
He is survived by his widow Jane, 1925 NW Bench Road, Oak Harbor, WA 98277; a daughter; his parents and a brother. The family has requested that bequests in his memory be made to the Naval Academy Alumni Association, Alumni House, Annapolis, Maryland.