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Fury_352FG
08-12-2005, 07:42 AM
Dear Aces and Friends,

I regret to inform you of the passing of another great ace.

His family sent this obituary.

Capt. (Retired) Roy Marlin "Butch" Voris, creator of the famed Navy Blue
Angels air demonstration team and a World War II flying ace from the
Pacific War, died Tuesday at his home in Monterey, CA. Voris, 86, had
been ill for several years but was still drawing huge crowds at air
shows whenever he attended. The 2004 California Air Show at Salinas, CA
had been dedicated in his honor.

A fighter pilot's fighter pilot, he shared the pantheon with other
American military aviation greats like Chuck Yeager, Gregory "Pappy"
Boyington, and the "Right Stuff" astronauts, all of whom made their
marks after Voris had helped pave the way. He himself had ended his
active aviation career as a spokesman for NASA during the momentous 1970
moon shots.

Physically a big man with a shaved head, Voris was known for his
even-temperedness and coolness in the cockpit, as well as great skill.
He had survived numerous accidents and emergency situations in the air,
including a midair collision during a Blue Angel demonstration at Corpus
Christi, TX, in 1952 in which one Blue Angel was killed and he
miraculously brought his plane in despite lack of almost all control and
a nearly severed tail. For all his accomplishments, he was unpretentious
and had a humorous streak that kept him in demand as a speaker.

Voris' career spanned 33 years. He had been instrumental in the early
development of the F-14 "Tomcat," one of the navy's greatest
fighter-bombers. He had flown everything from bi-planes to jets, most of
them in combat. His status as ace was earned in the hard early years of
the Pacific War when he shot down a confirmed eight (8) Japanese fighter
planes. Flying from the carriers Enterprise and Hornet, he had taken
part in the battles of Santa Cruz, Guadalcanal, Tarawa, numerous Central
Pacific islands, the First Battle of the Philippine Sea, the Great
Marianas Turkey Shoot, and "The Mission into Darkness," in which air
wing pilots had taken off near dusk to pursue the Japanese fleet knowing
many probably wouldn't have enough gas to return.

But Voris was most known for having forged in 1946 a handful of navy
fighter pilots, veterans of the Pacific War, into the navy flight
demonstration team that became known world-wide as the Blue Angels,
today's foremost ambassadors of American flight know-how and prowess. It
was the first such official venture by any of the services. With the war
over, the navy needed a recruiting tool and something that would help
attract congressional dollars. Voris, back from the war and a
Jacksonville Naval Air Station flight instructor, was given the job.

"My frame of mind was they didn't offer this to me to come in second to
the army," he recalls in "First Blue," a book published by St. Martins
Press last year about his life. "I felt that if we weren't the best, it
would be my naval career."

What he forged was the first of its kind: a show about 15 minutes long
with three Hellcats, the fighters he'd flown mostly in the Pacific,
roaring almost wingtip to wingtip in unison, doing rolls and maneuvers
experienced often in dogfights but seldom ever seen by the public. The
first show was a sensation, and by the end of the year, the team had
found a name based on a New York nightclub and Butch had hand-picked
leaders who would succeed him. His strong personality, insistence on
excellence through pilot debriefs and commitment, and through teamwork,
established a tradition that continues with the Blues today. At Salinas
this past year, current as well as former Blues honored him at attention
with a red carpet and salutes as he passed them by.

"I wouldn't change a thing," he's quoted in First Blue. "I wish I could
do it all over again."

In 1952, Voris was brought back to reform the Blue's following their
stint as the nucleus of a fighter squadron in the Korean War. They had
not performed for several years. As such he was one of only two Blue
leaders ever to lead the group twice. This time he did it in Panther
jets. Additionally, he was twice the skipper of fighter squadrons -
VF-113 and VF-191 - and commanding officer of a carrier air group,
CAG-5. After retiring from the navy as a captain in 1963, he went to
work as an executive of Grumman Aircraft Corporation, Bethpage, New York
- the company whose many airplanes he had flown and loved until 1973,
when he joined NASA.

Moved by the sight of airplanes as a youngster, Voris, who was born in
Los Angeles, was considering a career as a mortician after graduating
from high school in Santa Cruz, CA and Salinas Junior College. He didn't
think he'd have enough money to learn to fly. Then he saw a recruiting
poster and realized the navy might teach him for nothing. He was still
finishing flight training when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on
December 7, 1941. Shipped out to war when things looked bleakest, he
served in VF-10 "The Grim Reapers," under Jimmy Flatley, and later, as
the carriers began to take back the Pacific, with VF-2, "The Rippers,"
commanded by Bill Dean. At one point, the Rippers had more aces than any
other squadron in the Pacific.

He was awarded three Distinguished Flying Crosses, 11 air medals, and
three Presidential Unit Citations and the Purple Heart received when he
almost was killed by a Japanese Zero on his tail that shot up his
cockpit as he defended Guadalcanal. He was in a less-maneuverable F4F
Wildcat and figured it was over until he dove in a last-ditch maneuver
and escaped. That was his first real dogfight.

Butch is a member of the Navy Aviation Hall of Fame in Pensacola, FL,
and the International Air Show Hall of Fame. An aircraft bearing his
name is outside Jacksonville Naval Air Station and the Passenger
Terminal at the station is named for him. In 1993, he was honored by the
air force in a "Gathering of Eagles" ceremony as one of 20 aviators
worldwide who have made significant contributions to aviation. The
gathering is an annual event. In 2003, his wife of over 50 years, Thea
passed away. They had been married since 1947.

Butch is survived by daughters Randie and Jill, sons-in-law Hank and
Joe, and grandsons Hank Jr., Ryan and Todd. In addition, he is survived
by brothers Robert and Richard.

A memorial service is being planned. In lieu of flowers, please send any
donations in Butch's name to
Hospice of the Central Coast
2 UpperRagsdale Drive, Suite D-210
Monterey, CA 93940-5730.


Cheryl Dart

American Fighter Aces Association

Fury_352FG
08-12-2005, 07:42 AM
Dear Aces and Friends,

I regret to inform you of the passing of another great ace.

His family sent this obituary.

Capt. (Retired) Roy Marlin "Butch" Voris, creator of the famed Navy Blue
Angels air demonstration team and a World War II flying ace from the
Pacific War, died Tuesday at his home in Monterey, CA. Voris, 86, had
been ill for several years but was still drawing huge crowds at air
shows whenever he attended. The 2004 California Air Show at Salinas, CA
had been dedicated in his honor.

A fighter pilot's fighter pilot, he shared the pantheon with other
American military aviation greats like Chuck Yeager, Gregory "Pappy"
Boyington, and the "Right Stuff" astronauts, all of whom made their
marks after Voris had helped pave the way. He himself had ended his
active aviation career as a spokesman for NASA during the momentous 1970
moon shots.

Physically a big man with a shaved head, Voris was known for his
even-temperedness and coolness in the cockpit, as well as great skill.
He had survived numerous accidents and emergency situations in the air,
including a midair collision during a Blue Angel demonstration at Corpus
Christi, TX, in 1952 in which one Blue Angel was killed and he
miraculously brought his plane in despite lack of almost all control and
a nearly severed tail. For all his accomplishments, he was unpretentious
and had a humorous streak that kept him in demand as a speaker.

Voris' career spanned 33 years. He had been instrumental in the early
development of the F-14 "Tomcat," one of the navy's greatest
fighter-bombers. He had flown everything from bi-planes to jets, most of
them in combat. His status as ace was earned in the hard early years of
the Pacific War when he shot down a confirmed eight (8) Japanese fighter
planes. Flying from the carriers Enterprise and Hornet, he had taken
part in the battles of Santa Cruz, Guadalcanal, Tarawa, numerous Central
Pacific islands, the First Battle of the Philippine Sea, the Great
Marianas Turkey Shoot, and "The Mission into Darkness," in which air
wing pilots had taken off near dusk to pursue the Japanese fleet knowing
many probably wouldn't have enough gas to return.

But Voris was most known for having forged in 1946 a handful of navy
fighter pilots, veterans of the Pacific War, into the navy flight
demonstration team that became known world-wide as the Blue Angels,
today's foremost ambassadors of American flight know-how and prowess. It
was the first such official venture by any of the services. With the war
over, the navy needed a recruiting tool and something that would help
attract congressional dollars. Voris, back from the war and a
Jacksonville Naval Air Station flight instructor, was given the job.

"My frame of mind was they didn't offer this to me to come in second to
the army," he recalls in "First Blue," a book published by St. Martins
Press last year about his life. "I felt that if we weren't the best, it
would be my naval career."

What he forged was the first of its kind: a show about 15 minutes long
with three Hellcats, the fighters he'd flown mostly in the Pacific,
roaring almost wingtip to wingtip in unison, doing rolls and maneuvers
experienced often in dogfights but seldom ever seen by the public. The
first show was a sensation, and by the end of the year, the team had
found a name based on a New York nightclub and Butch had hand-picked
leaders who would succeed him. His strong personality, insistence on
excellence through pilot debriefs and commitment, and through teamwork,
established a tradition that continues with the Blues today. At Salinas
this past year, current as well as former Blues honored him at attention
with a red carpet and salutes as he passed them by.

"I wouldn't change a thing," he's quoted in First Blue. "I wish I could
do it all over again."

In 1952, Voris was brought back to reform the Blue's following their
stint as the nucleus of a fighter squadron in the Korean War. They had
not performed for several years. As such he was one of only two Blue
leaders ever to lead the group twice. This time he did it in Panther
jets. Additionally, he was twice the skipper of fighter squadrons -
VF-113 and VF-191 - and commanding officer of a carrier air group,
CAG-5. After retiring from the navy as a captain in 1963, he went to
work as an executive of Grumman Aircraft Corporation, Bethpage, New York
- the company whose many airplanes he had flown and loved until 1973,
when he joined NASA.

Moved by the sight of airplanes as a youngster, Voris, who was born in
Los Angeles, was considering a career as a mortician after graduating
from high school in Santa Cruz, CA and Salinas Junior College. He didn't
think he'd have enough money to learn to fly. Then he saw a recruiting
poster and realized the navy might teach him for nothing. He was still
finishing flight training when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on
December 7, 1941. Shipped out to war when things looked bleakest, he
served in VF-10 "The Grim Reapers," under Jimmy Flatley, and later, as
the carriers began to take back the Pacific, with VF-2, "The Rippers,"
commanded by Bill Dean. At one point, the Rippers had more aces than any
other squadron in the Pacific.

He was awarded three Distinguished Flying Crosses, 11 air medals, and
three Presidential Unit Citations and the Purple Heart received when he
almost was killed by a Japanese Zero on his tail that shot up his
cockpit as he defended Guadalcanal. He was in a less-maneuverable F4F
Wildcat and figured it was over until he dove in a last-ditch maneuver
and escaped. That was his first real dogfight.

Butch is a member of the Navy Aviation Hall of Fame in Pensacola, FL,
and the International Air Show Hall of Fame. An aircraft bearing his
name is outside Jacksonville Naval Air Station and the Passenger
Terminal at the station is named for him. In 1993, he was honored by the
air force in a "Gathering of Eagles" ceremony as one of 20 aviators
worldwide who have made significant contributions to aviation. The
gathering is an annual event. In 2003, his wife of over 50 years, Thea
passed away. They had been married since 1947.

Butch is survived by daughters Randie and Jill, sons-in-law Hank and
Joe, and grandsons Hank Jr., Ryan and Todd. In addition, he is survived
by brothers Robert and Richard.

A memorial service is being planned. In lieu of flowers, please send any
donations in Butch's name to
Hospice of the Central Coast
2 UpperRagsdale Drive, Suite D-210
Monterey, CA 93940-5730.


Cheryl Dart

American Fighter Aces Association

Box-weasel
08-12-2005, 11:51 AM
http://www.firstblueangel.com/galleries/03_2nd_Blue_Angel_Tour/Butch_in_cockpit_2nd_Tour_F9F_Panthers.jpg

jarink
08-12-2005, 12:04 PM
Yet another great vet passes on.... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

I've read his book and highly recommend it to others. One interesting element used in the early Blue Angel shows was a simulated shoot-down of a "Zero" (actually an SNJ).

Have you hugged a veteran today?

WarWolfe_1
08-12-2005, 06:20 PM
Rest In Peace with Honor.

woofiedog
08-13-2005, 02:53 AM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif God Bless!