In August of 1974, I was living at NAS Whidbey Island. One advantage of living there was that the air station had an annual air show, and the Blue Angels, already in the area for Seattle’s SeaFest, were routinely available to perform at the air show.
Switching from the F-4 Phantom to the petite A-4 Skyhawk in 1973, mostly to save on fuel costs, the Blue Angels the rock stars of Naval Aviation in those days. And for my money, the A-4 was the prettiest plane the Blues have ever flown. While it lacks the speed and raw power of the preceding F-4, and succeeding F-18, its fabulous roll rate, and trim, neat outline make it the best airshow plane ever.
As it happens, at the time, my dad was serving as CO of NAS Whidbey. Not unsurprisingly, this came with a few perks. For instance, just after the airshow, the skipper of the Blue Angels, then CDR Tony Less paid a courtesy call on dad. And of course, I got to have a pic taken with him!
Tony Less would retire as a Vice Admiral. I’d get my ass kicked for wearing Sears Toughskins jeans.