El Centro, CA Blue Angel Pilot Crashes, Feb 1967


El Centro, Calif. (UPI) -- The trouble-plagued Blue Angels Navy precision flying team lost its fourth pilot Wednesday when his Grumman F11A Tiger jet crashed in the desert during a training flight.
The rookie Blue Angel killed in the crash 16 miles northwest of the Naval air facility here was identified by the Navy as Lt. FRANK GALLAGHER, son of Francis Gallagher of Flushing, N.Y.
Three other Blue Angels were killed in air crashes at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto, Canada, in 1954, 1958 and 1966.
The Blue Angels are the Navy's equivalent of the U.S. Air Force's famed Thunderbirds, which last November lost two of that group's pilots in an in-flight collision of two F100F Super Saber Jets over the desert near Indian Springs, Nev.
GALLAGHER was training for precision flying when he crashed to his death in rugged desert terrain. He had been with the Navy aerial acrobatic team for only six weeks.
GALLAGHER flew solo in a four-man formation and the No. 6 spot in the full team formation.
The crash site was in a restricted area that is part of the Navy flight test range. In the minutes immediately following the crash, the Navy clamped a lid of secrecy on details, declining to give out any information other than the plane had crashed and the pilot was dead.

Panama City News Florida 1967-02-02