Born in Miami, Oklahoma, and raised in Dayton, Ohio, Stu was appointed to the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD, after his graduation from Firestone High School in 1966. He was a member of Firestone's state championship swimming team, won the Jack Taylor Award as Akron's outstanding swimmer and was a member of the National Honor Society. Stu was graduated from the Naval Academy with the Class of 1970. While at the Academy he set two records as a competitive swimmer. Flight training followed graduation and he was designated naval aviator in 1972, joining Fighter Squadron 161, the "Rock Rivers," and serving for two years on board MIDWAY homeported in Yokosuka, Japan, where he was the squadron's landing signal officer and quality assurance officer.
In September 1975 he entered postgraduate school and upon graduation with a Master of Science degree in aeronautical engineering he was assigned the Pacific Missile Test Center at Pt. Mugu, CA, where he served as project officer in the fighter weapons branch of the Flight Test Division, flying the F-4, F-14 and T-39 aircraft. He was then assigned as an air wing LSO and deployed aboard the carrier CORAL SEA to the Western Pacific, spending 102 days at sea in the Indian Ocean. His love of flying eventually led him to apply for a prestigious position on the "Blue Angels," and in 1980 he was accepted. He performed throughout the 1981 show season in the "No. 6" position as solo pilot.
The Blue Angels precision flying team was practicing before the opening of its 1982 season, when on 22 February 1982 his A-4 Skyhawk crashed into the desert floor at the Naval Air Facility, EI Centro, California. The Angels were executing a maneuver known as the "dirty loop," when his A-4 Skyhawk crashed into the ground and he was killed instantly.
He is survived by his widow Linda, a son Scott; a daughter Elizabeth; a sister Cynthia and his mother, Mrs. Gladys Powrie of Akron, Ohio.
Updated: November 01, 2018
Curator: Ed Moore