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"Zeke" Cormier - 1919 - 2001

            Richard "Zeke" Cormier

Feb. 2001
Blue Angels Leader
War Hero, Dies at 81

    : Richard "Zeke" Cormier, fighter ace and war hero who led the Blue Angels and helped guide the world-famous San Diego Aerospace Museum, has died at the age of 81.

    Our world lost a true officer and a gentleman in Feb. 2001, when WWII Ace, Blue Angel Commander, and former Museum Director Richard "Zeke" Cormier lost his longest, bravest and final battle. He was laid to rest at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetary, honored by one last flight of his "Blues". The Chaplain remarked that Zeke was probably looking down, critiquing their flight as they buzzed the memorial service in 'missing man' formation. No doubt.

Sponsored by the family and friends of “Zeke” Cormier This scholarship is awarded in the name of CAPT Richard L. “Zeke” Cormier, who received his Wings of Gold in July 1942 and flew combat missions from escort carriers in the TBF Avenger with VC-1 in the North Atlantic. In 1944 he became a Hellcat ace in the Pacific with eight confirmed kills, four in a single flight. After the war he had two tours with the Blue Angels. Subsequently, Zeke led VA-113, one of the first A-4 Skyhawk squadrons, and his final flying assignment from 1958-1959 was as Commander, Carrier Air Group 11. In retirement he served on the board of the San Diego Aerospace Museum for 28 years. At Tailhook 2000 Zeke was honored with Tailhook’s Lifetime Achievement award.

Naval Aviation News photo
Circa 1957: former Blue Angels leader, CDR Zeke Cormier, Stingers CO reaches for an arresting wire as he comes aboard the Hanna
in Stingers Skyhawk BuNo 142222, NH-301.

Tailhook Lifetime achievement award
CAPT Richard “Zeke” Cormier, is not only a former sub-hunter, fighter ace and Blue Angel skipper, but also a mentor to scores of carrier aviators. He has never missed a reunion that he was able to attend. Additionally, he has been a major factor in the establishment of the San Diego Aerospace Museum.

Blue Angels
"Zeke" was crew boss of the Blue Angels 1954 - 1956
Photos of "Zeke" and the crew from each year.    1954    1955    1956

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