This year marks the 70th anniversary of the formation of the Blue Angels. Annually since 1946, a select number of naval aviators have thrilled air-show audiences with high-flying formations and thunderous low-altitude passes. When the team was formed, its first flight leader, Lieutenant Commander Roy M. “Butch” Voris, ensured its pilots were all combat-seasoned aviators. Though not all who have followed in the footsteps of those first “Blues” have faced the crucible of combat, many have, either before joining the team or when returning to front-line squadrons following their tours as demonstration pilots.
Not Just for Show
While the Blue Angels demonstration squadron has electrified crowds for seven decades with its airborne acrobatics, combat skill played a major role in the ‘Blues’ earning elite status.
By Hill Goodspeed