Having lived near NAS for the last 6 1/2 years, I am well acquainted with the early Tuesday and Thursday morning thunderous maneuvers of the Blue Angels in training. The dogs hide, no one calls (we can’t hear anyway) and we are treated to poetry in motion.
The skies have been heartbreakingly silent this last week. I always feel such a thrill of compassion for those pilots and have prayed for their safety on many occasions. When we heard of Lt. Commander Davis’ passing, it was a sad blow. All of Pensacola feels it.
Here’s an article from our News Journal to say it all…
‘Bringing him home’
Fallen Blue Angel to receive full honors
An Angel has come home.
The Blue Angels’ C-130 transport plane, “Fat Albert,” streaked in low from the west Wednesday afternoon, landing at Sherman Field at Pensacola Naval Air Station.
Inside the plane was the flag-draped casket of Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Davis, the Blue Angels pilot who died Saturday when his No. 6 F/A-18 crashed during an air show in Beaufort, S.C.
Lt. Cmdr. Davis was 32.
“They’re bringing him home,” Lt. Cmdr. Garrett Kasper, Blue Angels spokesman, said while friends and family members of Blue Angels team members watched the plane cut through slightly overcast skies. Some dabbed at tear-stained eyes. One woman lowered her head and made the sign of the cross, offering prayers.
The transport plane flew into Pensacola from Dover, Del., with Lt. Cmdr. Davis’ casket, accompanied by Blue Angels flight surgeon Lt. Cmdr. Mark Lambert.
Fat Albert appeared from the west, gray snaking smoke in its wake. Once it landed, it taxied to a spot near the Training Air Wing 6 hangar, where 110 Blue Angels enlisted squadron members, and 14 Blue Angels officers, waited for their fallen comrade.
Near the nose of Fat Albert was the number “6,” recently added to the plane to honor Lt. Cmdr. Davis.
Once the transport plane arrived, the Blue Angels crew members, one on crutches, marched out near it — half on one side, half on the other.
A six-member honor guard, all in white, headed toward the plane. The rear of the plane opened, and inside was Lt. Cmdr. Davis’ casket. A hearse backed up to the plane between the two lines of crew members. The honor guard marched smartly inside, and soon, slowly marched the casket out of the plane to the hearse.
No one in the crowd of about 50 mourners said a word. Instead, they hugged, held hands and dabbed at eyes hidden behind dark sunglasses.
Within minutes, the casket was in the hearse and heading to a local funeral home. At every hangar, people stood outside saluting as the hearse passed.
Lt. Cmdr. Davis was home.
A private memorial will be conducted this weekend for Lt. Cmdr. Davis, a native of Pittsfield, Mass. He will be buried with full military honors at a private funeral at Barrancas National Cemetery.
“He will be able to watch the Blue Angels fly over Pensacola,” Kasper said.