KENNETH W. ILGENFRITZ, LCDR, USN

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Kenneth Ilgenfritz '68

Date of birth: May 22, 1946

Date of death: January 14, 1978

Age: 31

Lucky Bag

From the 1968 Lucky Bag:

1968 Ilgenfritz LB.jpg

KENNETH WILLIAM ILGENFRITZ

Baltimore, Maryland

"Fritz" took a short ride up Route 2 from Baltimore to come to the Academy and ever since has been heading back down the same road.

Every chance he gets, never one to return earlier than 55 seconds before liberty expired, he lived up to his cries of "Give me liberty or give me leave". The "Baltimore Son" could always be found surrounded by a pipe rack, soccer shoes, "soul" music, a best seller, and someone laughing at his unending jokes. Far between trips to the soccer and fieldball fields, the weightlifting rooms, and the blue trampoline, Ken found time to get good grades, especially in Politics and Economics, and a hard earned major in D.Q. With his winning personality and sense of responsibility to be a welcome addition to any wardroom in the Fleet.


He was also a member of the 4th Company staff (2nd and 3rd sets).

1968 Ilgenfritz LB.jpg

KENNETH WILLIAM ILGENFRITZ

Baltimore, Maryland

"Fritz" took a short ride up Route 2 from Baltimore to come to the Academy and ever since has been heading back down the same road.

Every chance he gets, never one to return earlier than 55 seconds before liberty expired, he lived up to his cries of "Give me liberty or give me leave". The "Baltimore Son" could always be found surrounded by a pipe rack, soccer shoes, "soul" music, a best seller, and someone laughing at his unending jokes. Far between trips to the soccer and fieldball fields, the weightlifting rooms, and the blue trampoline, Ken found time to get good grades, especially in Politics and Economics, and a hard earned major in D.Q. With his winning personality and sense of responsibility to be a welcome addition to any wardroom in the Fleet.


He was also a member of the 4th Company staff (2nd and 3rd sets).

Shipmate

From the April 1978 issue of Shipmate:

LCdr. Kenneth William Ilgenfritz USN was killed in an aircraft accident near Wilmington, North Carolina, on 14 January 1978. Memorial services were held at the Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Baltimore, Maryland, on 23 January with interment in the Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens.

Appointed to the Naval Academy from the State of Pennsylvania, he was graduated with the Class of 1968 and entered flight training at once. Upon being designated naval aviator, he joined the carrier Intrepid for a three-year tour, then returned to the Naval Academy as an instructor. In June 1977 he returned to sea, joining Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 125. He was flying from the carrier John F Kennedy as a pilot of an E-2C Hawkeye when the crash occurred. He had recently been commended for his flight record while assigned to the carrier.

He is survived by his widow, Cheryl, of Virginia Beach. Virginia; his parents and a sister, all of Baltimore.

He is buried in Maryland.

Remembrance

From VAW-12:

The most unforgettable character from my VAW-12 AND VAW-121 days would be hands down, Lt. Ken Ilgenfritz. He arrived at VAW-121 in early 1979 as a jg fresh out of flight training and RVAW-120 and was assigned to Det 11. He quickly was advanced within the Det from Maintenance Control Officer to Maintenance Officer. He was a ‘67 USNA grad who had paid attention to all that was being taught there. Mr. Ilgenfritz was without a doubt, the finest Naval Officer that I ever served under during my 23 year career. He was fair, listened to his men, especially his Chiefs and then had the ability to make a quick and well informed decision. He was well liked by Officers and Enlisted alike and was on the fast track to the top. That, however, was not to be. After being assigned to RVAW-120 and being promoted to LCDR, he was subsequently transferred to VAW-125. It was during a flyaway to homeplate from USS JFK that he and his entire crew were lost during a crash near Supply, NC on Jan. 14, 1978. The accident investigation and voice communication from the plane indicated that they had no elevator control over the aircraft. Seems that the decision to bail out was make too late. A real decent human being and totally unforgettable. FC Bogler ADRC USN-Ret

The Command History of VAW-125 has some more details.

Related Articles

Thomas Tardy '68 was also in 4th Company.


Class of 1968

Kenneth is one of 29 members of the Class of 1968 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.