Blue Angels Take their First Flight Over Jacksonville, Florida

by Shipping Station

On this day in history in 1946, an unnamed flight demonstration team was ordered by the Chief of Naval Operations to keep the public interested in Naval Aviation while boosting Navy and American morale. Lt. Commander Roy “Butch” Voris was chosen as the new flight team’s commander and tasked with selecting a team of pilots and ground staff to help execute flight demonstrations in the Grumman F6F Hellcat, the main Navy fighter airplane used during WWll. The unnamed team’s first aerial display took place on June 15, 1946 at Jacksonville’s Craig Field in Florida. After a month of the assembled team’s existence, the team’s name was given from an inspiration by the famous New York nightclub, Blue Angel nightclub. The first demonstration under the newly named Blue Angles was a show in Omaha, Nebraska on July 19, 1946. By the late 1940's, the Blue Angels were flying their first jet aircraft, the Grumman F9F Panther. With the country facing conflict in Korea, the team reported to aircraft carrier USS Princeton as the the nucleus of Fighter Squadron 191 or VF-191, in 1950. They were reorganized the following year and reported to Navy Air Station (NAS) Corpus Christi, Texas where they began flying the newer and faster version of the Panther, the F9F-5. The Blue Angels remained in Corpus Christi until the winter of 1954 when they relocated to their present home at NAS Pensacola, Florida.

Now celebrating their 71st year, the amazing and highly talented Blue Angels have flown for more than 450 million spectators.

The first public display of the Blue Angel modified F6F Hellcat occurred on June 15, 1946, at Craig Field.

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