From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Date of birth: unknown

Date of death: November 22, 1980

Age: 34

Lucky Bag

1968 Ludwig LB.jpg

From the 1968 Lucky Bag:


A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Jack entered the Naval Academy directly after graduating from Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, where he excelled in wrestling and lacrosse. Jack soon discovered the tremendous challenges presented by the Naval Academy's tough set of regulations and demanding academic course. Since plebe summer, the "Duck" as he is known to his more intimate friends for some unknown reason, has become a master of study time evasive maneuvers. Plebe and varsity lacrosse were Jack's primary athletic interests, however, during his "Senior" year he retired his lacrosse stick so that he might devote his full time to extracurricular sports car racing. All of us will fondly remember the "Duck", for his pleasant, easygoing personality formed many a lasting friendship. His high intellectual capacity (although not reflected to his grades) coupled with a natural leadership ability, and a deep sense of reponsibility will stand Jack in good stead throughout his Naval Career.


From Together We Served:

Bodies of Three Men Killed in Midair Collision Recovered

Encinitas (AP): The bodies of two pilots and a flight photographer have been recovered from the wreckage of a prototype military helicopter and an Army plane that collided in mid-air over the ocean this weekend.

The two test pilots taken from the Hughes Helicopters YAH-64 Sunday have been identified as John E. Ludwig, 34, of Bonita and James W. Groulx, 37, of Carlsbad.

The body of 56 year old William L. Freeman of San Clemente was also retrieved from the remnants of the Army T-28 from which he was photographing the test flight when the two planes crashed Saturday about three-fourths off a mile off Seacliff Park.

Crash was on November 22, 1980.


In "Rotor Review" (of the Naval Helicopter Association), Summer 2014 edition, by Captain Michael Coumatos, USN (ret), Jack is featured in a long story about the development of what would become the LAMPS Mk III helicopter.


Jack is mentioned in the book Howard's Whirlybirds: Howard Hughes' Amazing Pioneering Helicopter Exploits by Donald J. Porter.


Though he is referred to as a Hughes employee, Captain Michael Coumatos, USN (ret), author of the Rotor Review piece and Jack's friend, remembers him being active in the reserves. The other pilot, James W. Groulx USNA '66, is not in Memorial Hall — this indicates Jack's duty status & service affiliation was considered.

Related Articles

David Thompson '68 was also in 18th Company.

John likely overlapped with at least one of the men who were lost in Helicopter Attack Squadron (Light) (HA(L)) 3.


Should his inscription be "USNR"? Together We Served and USNA Alumni Association both list him as a LCDR; which is correct?