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George Fennell, '58  Honored at NAS Pensacola (12/11/19)

A memorial was recently established at Pensacola called the "Walk of Honor".  It honors those who died at Pensacola during operational activities. George Myers, 16th Company, who lives in Pensacola saw to it that George Fennell, our first commissioned classmate to die on active duty, was included.  George Fennell was killed in a T-28 in Pensacola.  It was before we started flight training and George was taking a Sunday morning  maintenance check ride.  It would have been ~ August/September 1958.  

The Pensacola Chapter of the USNA Alumni Association recently dedicated  the  Memorial USNA "Walk of Honor"  located in the NAS Pensacola Veteran's Memorial Park.  The "Walk of Honor" comprises memorial bricks for  deceased USNA graduates.  George Myers ensured that a brick was dedicated to George Fennell.



Below is a note from the President of the Pensacola Chapter of the USNA Alumni Association, Kathy McCartan '85 Describing the Dedication Ceremony. 

Walk of Honor Pensacola, FL

My dear Navy friends,

Wow- what a wonderful dedication we had for our USNA “Walk of Honor” at Veteran’s Memorial Park this morning. We drew a large crowd- of at least 85 winkfamily members, friends, classmates and shipmates.  It was a beautiful event.

Jerry Crumly '62 led the ceremony with his bagpiped "Flowers of the Forest." Then yours truly took the podium to start the day with a moment of silence in remembrance of all those injured and killed in yesterday's deadly event at NAS Pensacola. We prayed for Josh Watson '19, who had recently reported to Pensacola and died after alerting first responders outside Building 633 on Friday.  (See link to his story below). Many of Josh's 2019 classmates attended today's dedication.

As always, we pledged allegiance to our grand old flag and in lieu of a prayer offered up our voices singing "Eternal Father" (accompanied by  the Mormon Tabernacle Choir- thanks, John Klose '78 & bluetooth). Our Chapter President thanked and introduced Dick Folga '70, the visionary who brought the USNA memorial brick walk of honor to fruition. Dick gave us background on the project including the finanical support this provides to the Veterans Memorial Park Foundation. Afterward, he recited the names of all of the deceased Alumni who were honored with bricks today.

Dan Schugart, WEAR TV-3 sportscaster and son of ADM Schugart '48 gave the finest speech  about USNA and its graduates that most of us have ever heard. Dan mentioned the life of honor and sacrifice that USNA graduates lead, from challenging careers where they cope with separation from their families, to their voluntary service to their country and communities.  He highlighted a number of the deceased Alum's accomplishments.  I had tears in my eyes at the end.  We will get a copy of Dan's speech to share with you and that we hope to have published in "Shipmate."

I thanked Dan and let him know that his father would be SO PROUD! I also thanked Dick for all his work on the project, Butch Hansen for his logisitcal support with the bricks and the Park event, and Jerry Crumly for piping us out with "Taps."

We adjourned to a lively lunch at Seville Quarter.  I was happy to have a chance to meet classmates and family members of our honored deceased alumni from the Pensacola area as well as a couple who had traveled from the Norfollk area to attend the event. I think we may have some more Navy fans joining us at next week's game.

Finally, I'd like to thank Gina Jackson '83 who donated some lovely USNA poster art created by a '48 grad.  We were able to give one of these to Dan Schugart as a special gift since his dad was also '48.

 Link to Josh Watson '19 story from WTVY

  Stay strong, Navy.... and as always BEAT ARMY!!!

Kathy McCartan ‘85

President, Pensacola Chapter USNAAA