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Monday, February 3, 2020

NAL PAA DL Capt. James Gregory ‘Greg’ Schwalbert

….this news received courtesy of the National Airlines Buccaneers group.
Note details below:  Celebration of Life for Captain Greg Schwalbert on Feb. 16th
Thank you,
~ Carol for the PCN 

~ IN MEMORY ~                      
Military veteran, NAL PAA DL  Capt. James Gregory ‘Greg’ Schwalbert
Born: April 12, 1939   Hired: 6-19-1967  Died: December 26th, 2019

Greg was born in Toledo, Ohio and graduated from DeVilbiss High School. He was awarded a full Navy scholarship and graduated from the U. of Michigan and then served in the U.S. Navy. He was an F-4 pilot on the Aircraft Carrier, the F.D. Roosevelt. He was a TRI-Centurion flying 300 take offs and landings on the same aircraft carrier. He was awarded a citation for aggressively leading an airstrike on North Vietnam. He was awarded three Air Medals. He was the only person ever to catapult off a carrier with the *wings folded and land successfully.  He was able to recover at Guantanamo Bay Navy base, thereby saving the F-4, his RIO (Radar Intercept Officer) and himself. He loved flying as a Pilot with NAL, PAA, DAL and all his friends and crew members.

He is survived by his wife Beth, his daughter Caroline Hicks, son Michael Schwalbert, and two grandsons, Nick and Scott Schwalbert, also his stepsons Michael Gaylord and Paul Gaylord.

Celebration of life to be held at the St. James Episcopal Church at mile Marker 87.5 in the Florida Keys at 1400 hrs. February 16, 2020.

Submitted by Beth Schwalbert and Hart Kelley
*read more at https://sierrahotel.net/blogs/news/my-wings-are-what  (includes pictures)
Excerpt taken from site:   My Wings Are What??
May 10th, 1966, Lt Greg Schwalbert of VF-14 launched off a carrier at sea with his aircraft weighing in at over 34,000 lbs in high winds. Immediately after launch the pilot became frighteningly aware that his wings were still in the folded position. After quickly jettisoning his external load, Lt Greg Schwalbert steered towards the safety of the shore 59km away. The Phantom was successfully recovered at NAAS Leeward Point. The pilot and aircraft survived, but no word on the condition of the pilot’s underwear…no surprise to many, but once again, the F-4 is proof that with enough power, even a brick could fly!

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