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"Bug" Roach: There are legends and there are legends above all others

HeyJoe

Fly Navy! ...or USMC
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030423-N-2000D-004 Pentagon, Washington, D.C. (April 23, 2003) -- A plaque presented in honor of Commander John “Bug” Roach , hangs in a newly dedicated N78 conference room at the Pentagon in his name. Cmdr. John “Bug” Roach was a Navy pilot and Carrier Air Group (CAG) Landing Signals Officer (LSO), who achieved numerous milestones during his career before being killed when his aircraft engine and ejection seat failed leaving him unable to successfully egress from his A-4E “Skyhawk” in 1991. U.S. Navy Photo by Photographer's Mate 3rd Class Antoine Themistocleous. (RELEASED)
 

Swanee

Self aware since 2014
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030423-N-2000D-004 Pentagon, Washington, D.C. (April 23, 2003) -- A plaque presented in honor of Commander John “Bug” Roach , hangs in a newly dedicated N78 conference room at the Pentagon in his name. Cmdr. John “Bug” Roach was a Navy pilot and Carrier Air Group (CAG) Landing Signals Officer (LSO), who achieved numerous milestones during his career before being killed when his aircraft engine and ejection seat failed leaving him unable to successfully egress from his A-4E “Skyhawk” in 1991. U.S. Navy Photo by Photographer's Mate 3rd Class Antoine Themistocleous. (RELEASED)
I've been introduced to at least as many Gods Among Men through AW as I have through any other source. This is another. If anything, it makes me want to work harder knowing that this is the brotherhood I am entering into. I only hope to live up to the legacy of those who have gone before me.

Sempre Fi gents.


(Editors note: This post may have been influenced by Myers's Rum)
 

Catmando

Keep your knots up.
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030423-N-2000D-004 Pentagon, Washington, D.C. (April 23, 2003) -- A plaque presented in honor of Commander John “Bug” Roach , hangs in a newly dedicated N78 conference room at the Pentagon in his name. Cmdr. John “Bug” Roach was a Navy pilot and Carrier Air Group (CAG) Landing Signals Officer (LSO), who achieved numerous milestones during his career before being killed when his aircraft engine and ejection seat failed leaving him unable to successfully egress from his A-4E “Skyhawk” in 1991. U.S. Navy Photo by Photographer's Mate 3rd Class Antoine Themistocleous. (RELEASED)
Thank you for posting this plaque. I was not aware of it.

As some may know, Bug was not always so honored or revered, as he should have been, early in his career. But the best cannot be denied forever, thankfully.

Bug was a good friend. While never in the same squadrons, we happily crossed paths for many years in our careers. And we shared many close, mutual friends.

It is a rare day that I do not think about and remember this extraordinary individual. And even tonight, his picture brings a smile to my face. Bug I think was the essence of a Naval Aviator.

RIP Bug. And save some heaven for me, will ya? :D
 

SynixMan

Space Cadet
pilot
Contributor


030423-N-2000D-004 Pentagon, Washington, D.C. (April 23, 2003) -- A plaque presented in honor of Commander John “Bug” Roach , hangs in a newly dedicated N78 conference room at the Pentagon in his name. Cmdr. John “Bug” Roach was a Navy pilot and Carrier Air Group (CAG) Landing Signals Officer (LSO), who achieved numerous milestones during his career before being killed when his aircraft engine and ejection seat failed leaving him unable to successfully egress from his A-4E “Skyhawk” in 1991. U.S. Navy Photo by Photographer's Mate 3rd Class Antoine Themistocleous. (RELEASED)
For those wanting to know what a "Salty Dip" or a "Boat Stash" are, see the above photo. I only wish I can live up to those that came before me.
 

jtmedli

Well-Known Member
pilot


030423-N-2000D-004 Pentagon, Washington, D.C. (April 23, 2003) -- A plaque presented in honor of Commander John “Bug” Roach , hangs in a newly dedicated N78 conference room at the Pentagon in his name. Cmdr. John “Bug” Roach was a Navy pilot and Carrier Air Group (CAG) Landing Signals Officer (LSO), who achieved numerous milestones during his career before being killed when his aircraft engine and ejection seat failed leaving him unable to successfully egress from his A-4E “Skyhawk” in 1991. U.S. Navy Photo by Photographer's Mate 3rd Class Antoine Themistocleous. (RELEASED)

I'll echo what the others already said....wow, what a guy. Didn't even know it was possible to go 25 years without having a non-flying tour. Rest In Peace Bug!!
 

HeyJoe

Fly Navy! ...or USMC
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030423-N-2000D-002 From left to right: Retired Navy Capt. Zip Rausa, Charles M. DeGruy, Senior Manager Naval Concept and Doctrine, Rear Adm. Michael J. McCabe, Director Air Warfare (N78) and Retired Rear Adm. P. D. Smith displays a plaque presented in honor of Commander John “Bug” Roach, to help officially dedicate a conference room at the Pentagon in his name. Cmdr. John “Bug” Roach was a Navy pilot and Carrier Air Group (CAG) Landing Signals Officer (LSO), who achieved numerous milestones during his career before being killed when his aircraft engine and ejection seat failed leaving him unable to successfully egress from his A-4E “Skyhawk” in 1991. U.S. Navy Photo by Journalist 2nc Class Hendrick L. Dickson. (RELEASED)


HJ Comment: The caption left out Rear Admiral "Lobster" Fitzgerald (then N880 and now Admiral Fitzgerald, Commander Naval Forces, Europe) on the far left and Rear Admiral John Cotton on the far right who retired as Vice Admiral in charge of Naval Reserves. Charlie "Cajun" DeGruy was from Whitney, Bradley & Brown, Inc., a DC area consultant firm. "Cajun" was waved by "Bug" during his career flying F-4 Phantoms (VF-96 in 1972) and later F-14 Tomcats as CO of VF-211 and VF-101.

Note: Rear Admiral "Wizard" McCabe is also a legend of sorts. As a stash LTJG awaiting his RAG class at VF-121 to start, he joined a deploying F-4 Phantom squadron (VF-114) and flew supposedly benign CAP hops off Vietnam in 1972. On one such hop with LCDR "Viper" Pettigrew on 6 may 1972, they got a hot vector and ended up engaging VPAF MiGs. Both VF-114 Phantoms in the CAP section downed a MiG-21 apiece so LTJG McCabe later returns to RAG to learn how to fly and fight the Phantom sporting a Silver Star attesting that he's "been there, done that". He retired as as a Vice Admiral in command of 3rd Fleet.
 

HeyJoe

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Bug was a good friend. While never in the same squadrons, we happily crossed paths for many years in our careers. And we shared many close, mutual friends.

It is a rare day that I do not think about and remember this extraordinary individual. And even tonight, his picture brings a smile to my face. Bug I think was the essence of a Naval Aviator.
Here's an outstanding remembrance of "Bug" by someone else who thought he was extraordinary as well.

In my own case, I first met him via phone quite by surprise one day in 1988. I had called Fighter Wing at Miramar one day on some matter and he picked up. Realizing who he was, I asked him a few questions and by the time we talked about everything from waving on 27C decks to life under "Field Day" Fellowes, I had forgotten why I called. Quite a guy. Certainly larger than life and a standout among standouts even though his prospects for command and promotion were somewhat checkered, but that made him even more notorious in the end.
 

MIDNJAC

is clara ship
pilot
Here's an outstanding remembrance of "Bug" by someone else who thought he was extraordinary as well.

In my own case, I first met him via phone quite by surprise one day in 1988. I had called Fighter Wing at Miramar one day on some matter and he picked up. Realizing who he was, I asked him a few questions and by the time we talked about everything from waving on 27C decks to life under "Field Day" Fellowes, I had forgotten why I called. Quite a guy. Certainly larger than life and a standout among standouts even though his prospects for command and promotion were somewhat checkered, but that made him even more notorious in the end.
I'm just going to go out on a limb here and guess that it was his son that was my running-mate for my 1/c middie cruise. Cool guy, and I think I heard that his dad had been a B/N responsible for downing a pretty notorious bridge in NVN back in the day.
 

HeyJoe

Fly Navy! ...or USMC
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I'm just going to go out on a limb here and guess that it was his son that was my running-mate for my 1/c middie cruise. Cool guy, and I think I heard that his dad had been a B/N responsible for downing a pretty notorious bridge in NVN back in the day.
Rear Admiral Ted Fellowes was a fighter pilot so must be someone else. He was commanding officer of one of many carriers that "Bug" waved aboard and although notorious for enforcing the rules concerning wearing of flight jackets through the gate* as well as speed entering the break when he was "COMFIT", "Bug" had unqualified praise for him as his favorite skipper of a carrier in support of the Air Wing.

*If you were caught trying to pass through the gate, you and your CO had an audience with him and your CO stood duty at gate until next malcreant was caught
 

AllAmerican75

Back to School!
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Note: Rear Admiral "Wizard" McCabe is also a legend of sorts. As a stash LTJG awaiting his RAG class at VF-121 to start, he joined a deploying F-4 Phantom squadron (VF-114) and flew supposedly benign CAP hops off Vietnam in 1972. On one such hop with LCDR "Viper" Pettigrew on 6 may 1972, they got a hot vector and ended up engaging VPAF MiGs. Both VF-114 Phantoms in the CAP section downed a MiG-21 apiece so LTJG McCabe later returns to RAG to learn how to fly and fight the Phantom sporting a Silver Star attesting that he's "been there, done that". He retired as as a Vice Admiral in command of 3rd Fleet.
This may be a stupid question, but I thought the whole purpose of the RAG was to qualify you in a specific aircraft so you are "cleared" in that aircraft and can actually deploy? Was this just one of those deals created by a need for pilots during Vietnam? The story almost seems like a tall tale.
 

Flugelman

Well-Known Member
Contributor
Rear Admiral Ted Fellowes was a fighter pilot so must be someone else. He was commanding officer of one of many carriers that "Bug" waved aboard and although notorious for enforcing the rules concerning wearing of flight jackets through the gate* as well as speed entering the break when he was "COMFIT", "Bug" had unqualified praise for him as his favorite skipper of a carrier in support of the Air Wing.

*If you were caught trying to pass through the gate, you and your CO had an audience with him and your CO stood duty at gate until next malcreant was caught
Could it have been Capt Jack Fellowes? Recently deceased, May 3 this year. RIP, Sir...
 
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