Artifacts From Famous Blue Angels Crash Found 50 Years Later
Debbie Harris knew the military dog tag and small metal emblem of a Navy fighter squadron she recently found in the sand near her home on an Alabama beach belonged to a Blue Angels pilot who was killed when his jet crashed there a half-century ago.
But she wanted to find out more about Cmdr. Robert Nicholls Glasgow and what happened , so she turned to her aunt and uncle, who live in Pensacola, home of the National Museum of Naval Aviation. Their search led them to the museum's director, Bob Rasmussen, a retired Navy captain and once a member of the famed flight demonstration team.
Harris, 56, of Fort Morgan, Ala., said she came upon the fire-scorched emblem from Fighter Squadron 191, one of Glasgow's previous units, in mid-October. It was nearly 50 years to the day after the Oct. 14, 1958 crash.
The emblem probably had been on a Zippo cigarette lighter, Rasmussen said. She also found a small piece of metal shaped like a W, but Rasmussen couldn't identify it.
Harris then found the dog tag, bent but with the pilot's name clearly visible, on Feb. 17 — Glasgow's birthday. He was born on that date in 1922.
Harris thinks hurricanes that swept through the area in recent years may have uncovered the items.
She wants to give them to Glasgow's family, but she's been unable to find any relatives through her research on the Internet. An Oct. 15, 1958, article on the crash in the Pensacola News Journal indicated Glasgow had a wife and four children and that his parents lived in El Monte, Calif.
Rasmussen said he'll try to help her search, although he hardly knew Glasgow. Glasgow had reported for duty at Pensacola Naval Air Station as the Blue Angels new leader just a few days before his first flight in one of the team's F-11 Tigers ended in tragedy.
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