Difference between revisions of "KENNETH J. WESSEL, LCDR, USN"

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== Lucky Bag ==
{{KeyDates|DoB=May 10, 1950|DoD=September 29, 1981|Age=31|name_class=Kenneth Wessel '72}}
From the [https://archive.org/details/luckybag19722unit 1972 Lucky Bag, Volume II:]
 
{{LuckyBag|LBLink=https://archive.org/details/luckybag1972unse|class=1972
|picture=1972 Wessel LB.jpg
|LBName=KENNETH JAMES WESSEL
|LBHometown=Alexandria, Virginia
|LBText=The "Weasel" or just plain "Weas," whose nickname fits him perfectly, arrived at Navy, bright eyes and fuzzy cheeked and fresh from high school in Alexandria, Virginia. The young aspirant's first weeks at the Academy were pretty rough. Plebe summer his roommate decided he didn't like the hairstyles and went home leaving Weasel with a private room for almost a month. Never a candidate for the Ac Board (though he seemed to be trying like crazy) Weasel always had time for football, a quick game of pinochle, or a little rack. Except for a few short (but fulfilling) romances, Weasel's main love has always come in a pop top can. After graduation Weas is hoping on a destroyer for two years, and then intends to take Pensacola by storm. All in all, the Navy's going to gain a fine officer in Weasel (unless prohibition comes back). }}
 
== Loss ==
Kenneth was killed when the [http://www.ussinchon.com/img/Wessel.jpg UH-1 Huey helicopter he was piloting] crashed off the coast of Virginia Beach. Three others escaped. He was serving as the aircraft handling officer aboard USS Inchon (LPH 12) at the time of the crash.
 
From the [https://www.newspapers.com/image/337444784/?terms=kenneth%20wessel&match=1 Rocky Mount Telegram] of Rocky Mount, NC on September 30, 1981:
<blockquote>
The UH-1N Huey helicopter was on a routine training flight from the amphibious assault ship Inchon when it radioed a distress signal and then went down shortly before 9 a.m. Tuesday, Navy spokesmen said....
 
Witnesses said the Huey flew into the water as if in a controlled ditch, rather than plummeting vertically.
 
John Howard McCann of Baltimore vacationing at the Princess Anne Motel, said he was on the motel's balcony and saw the Huey about 15 or 20 feet above the water.
 
"It was coming inland," McCann said. "I called my wife to come and look at it because it was so close to shore. Then it started floating left to right like it was losing control.
 
"The next thing was that one of the propellers (rotor blades) hit the water and it looked like it pulled it right down. It just went right down," he said.
</blockquote>
 
== Other Information ==
From researcher Kathy Franz:
<blockquote>
Kenneth graduated from Lexington High School. In the 1967 yearbook, he was in the Math Club which visited the IBM computer at Washington and Lee University, was in the Science Club which visited the VEPCO Power Station, and was a member of the Literary Club and the National Honor Society.
</blockquote>
 
From the December 1981 issue of ''Shipmate'':
<blockquote>
<blockquote>
KENNETH JAMES WESSEL
LCdr. Kenneth James Wessel USN was killed in an aircraft accident on 28 September 1981 when his UH-1N Huey helicopter which was on a training mission from the amphibious assault ship INCHON crashed off Virginia Beach, Virginia. Three other crewmen were rescued. Memorial services were held on 3 October in Norfolk.
 
Appointed to the Naval Academy from the State of New Jersey, he was graduated with the Class of 1972 and after sea duty was ordered to flight training. After designation as naval aviator he became a helicopter pilot.


The "Weasel" or just plain "Weas," whose nickname fits him perfectly, arrived at Navy, bright eyes and fuzzy cheeked and fresh from high school in Alexandria, Virginia. The young aspirant's first weeks at the Academy were pretty rough. Plebe summer his roommate decided he didn't like the hairstyles and went home leaving Weasel with a private room for almost a month. Never a canaidate for the Ac Board (though he seemed to be trying like crazy) Weasel always had time for football, a quick game of pinochle, or a little rack. Except for a few short (but fulfilling) romances, Weasel's main love has always come in a pop top can. After graduation Weas is hoping on a destroyer for two years, and then intends to take Pensacola by storm. All in all, the Navy's going to gain a fine officer in Weasel (unless prohibition comes back).  
He is survived by his widow, the former Mary Ann Riley of Newark, Delaware, and three children; his parents, LCol. (USAF Ret.) and Mrs. Carl Wessel of Ocean City, New Jersey; four brothers and a sister.
</blockquote>
</blockquote>
== Photographs ==
<gallery mode=packed heights=350px style="text-align:left">
File:1972 Wessel 1.jpg|LCDR Kenneth Wessel; Aircraft Handling Officer, USS Inchon (LPH 12)|link=http://www.ussinchon.com/obituaries.php?page=LCdrWessel
File:1972 Wessel 2.jpg|From his junior-year high school yearbook
</gallery>
{{NewClassNavigator|Name=Kenneth|HonoreesInClass=13|ClassYear=1972|PreviousPersonLink=DAN A. DAVIS, LT, USN|PreviousPersonName=Dan Davis '72|NextPersonLink=ROBERT P. VESSELY, LCDR, USN|NextPersonName=Robert Vessely '72}}


[[Category:1972|Wessel]]
[[Category:1972|Wessel]]
[[Category:USN|Wessel]]
[[Category:USN|Wessel]]
[[Category:Operational loss|Wessel]]
[[Category:Helicopter|Wessel]]
[[Category:USS Inchon (LPH 12)|Wessel]]

Latest revision as of 15:52, 20 November 2020

Kenneth Wessel '72

Date of birth: May 10, 1950

Date of death: September 29, 1981

Age: 31

Lucky Bag

From the 1972 Lucky Bag:

1972 Wessel LB.jpg

KENNETH JAMES WESSEL

Alexandria, Virginia

The "Weasel" or just plain "Weas," whose nickname fits him perfectly, arrived at Navy, bright eyes and fuzzy cheeked and fresh from high school in Alexandria, Virginia. The young aspirant's first weeks at the Academy were pretty rough. Plebe summer his roommate decided he didn't like the hairstyles and went home leaving Weasel with a private room for almost a month. Never a candidate for the Ac Board (though he seemed to be trying like crazy) Weasel always had time for football, a quick game of pinochle, or a little rack. Except for a few short (but fulfilling) romances, Weasel's main love has always come in a pop top can. After graduation Weas is hoping on a destroyer for two years, and then intends to take Pensacola by storm. All in all, the Navy's going to gain a fine officer in Weasel (unless prohibition comes back).

1972 Wessel LB.jpg

KENNETH JAMES WESSEL

Alexandria, Virginia

The "Weasel" or just plain "Weas," whose nickname fits him perfectly, arrived at Navy, bright eyes and fuzzy cheeked and fresh from high school in Alexandria, Virginia. The young aspirant's first weeks at the Academy were pretty rough. Plebe summer his roommate decided he didn't like the hairstyles and went home leaving Weasel with a private room for almost a month. Never a candidate for the Ac Board (though he seemed to be trying like crazy) Weasel always had time for football, a quick game of pinochle, or a little rack. Except for a few short (but fulfilling) romances, Weasel's main love has always come in a pop top can. After graduation Weas is hoping on a destroyer for two years, and then intends to take Pensacola by storm. All in all, the Navy's going to gain a fine officer in Weasel (unless prohibition comes back).

Loss

Kenneth was killed when the UH-1 Huey helicopter he was piloting crashed off the coast of Virginia Beach. Three others escaped. He was serving as the aircraft handling officer aboard USS Inchon (LPH 12) at the time of the crash.

From the Rocky Mount Telegram of Rocky Mount, NC on September 30, 1981:

The UH-1N Huey helicopter was on a routine training flight from the amphibious assault ship Inchon when it radioed a distress signal and then went down shortly before 9 a.m. Tuesday, Navy spokesmen said....

Witnesses said the Huey flew into the water as if in a controlled ditch, rather than plummeting vertically.

John Howard McCann of Baltimore vacationing at the Princess Anne Motel, said he was on the motel's balcony and saw the Huey about 15 or 20 feet above the water.

"It was coming inland," McCann said. "I called my wife to come and look at it because it was so close to shore. Then it started floating left to right like it was losing control.

"The next thing was that one of the propellers (rotor blades) hit the water and it looked like it pulled it right down. It just went right down," he said.

Other Information

From researcher Kathy Franz:

Kenneth graduated from Lexington High School. In the 1967 yearbook, he was in the Math Club which visited the IBM computer at Washington and Lee University, was in the Science Club which visited the VEPCO Power Station, and was a member of the Literary Club and the National Honor Society.

From the December 1981 issue of Shipmate:

LCdr. Kenneth James Wessel USN was killed in an aircraft accident on 28 September 1981 when his UH-1N Huey helicopter which was on a training mission from the amphibious assault ship INCHON crashed off Virginia Beach, Virginia. Three other crewmen were rescued. Memorial services were held on 3 October in Norfolk.

Appointed to the Naval Academy from the State of New Jersey, he was graduated with the Class of 1972 and after sea duty was ordered to flight training. After designation as naval aviator he became a helicopter pilot.

He is survived by his widow, the former Mary Ann Riley of Newark, Delaware, and three children; his parents, LCol. (USAF Ret.) and Mrs. Carl Wessel of Ocean City, New Jersey; four brothers and a sister.

Photographs


Class of 1972

Kenneth is one of 13 members of the Class of 1972 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

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