Class Of 1964 USAF Academy

Further Details

Nick went to prep school with me at Bainbridge NAS before entering the Academy. He was doing fine in T-38s. On the day of the accident, he was in a four ship with an instructor. His aircraft was on a rejoin when the aircraft collided. Nick and his instructor didn't make it. Two pilots in a second plane ejected successfully and the remaining two planes returned home. All of the guys were bachelors as I was and part of the Friday unwinding was a stop at the O'Club and then a short road trip to Via Acunia to continue the celebration?? Tito of course wouldn't ever do something like that...right Tito? (Jack Sullivan, '64)

Nick was my roommate in the two bedroom BOQ quarters we shared. The day of the accident he went with my IP on a T-38 formation flight. I'm not sure if they went on a four ship because my recollection was that it was a case of two, two ships which ran into each other almost head-on, resulting in one airplane returning, two destroyed instantly and one whose two pilots were able to eject from before it went down. The story I heard was that the one T-38 which was unscathed started making radio calls for their #2 which were answered by another T-38 in the area who replied that they should check behind them due to the visible smoke from the impact. I don't think they ever saw the other two aircraft before they hit. I still remember the admonition by the head instructor afterwards, to all of us, not to make any calls home in order to avoid relatives of the missing finding out before they were notified officially. It took a while to verify the names of the victims, as you may expect. I believe Nick's remains were taken to his family in Seattle, whom I visited after my PCS to Fairchild in Spokane after UPT. (Julio Echegaray, '64)
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