NOTAM 04-2015 (Sheets)

Golden Eagle NOTAM
CAPTAIN Roger E. Sheets, USN (Ret)
Golden Eagle

Dear Golden Eagles,

It is my sad duty to inform you that Regular Member, CAPT Roger E. Sheets, USN (Ret), made his Last Take-Off on 15 March 2015 in Jacksonville, FL, after a battle with lung cancer. He died peacefully with his wife Lynn at his side. Roger was born on April 27, 1930 in Pittsburg, PA, to David and Laura Scales Sheets. 

He joined the Navy in Feb 1951 as a NAVCAD in Pensacola and received his wings on Jul 31, 1952. He joined VF-151 in NAS Alameda, CA, and flew F9F-2 jets deployed in USS Boxer from Mar 53 to Dec 53 during the Korean War. He returned to the states and married Lynn on Dec 19, 1953 and they had a son William Roger Sheets,  deceased at age 42, and a daughter, Cynthia “Cindy” Skaar who lives in Palm Bay, FL. Lynn and Roger celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary this past December. They had 5 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren from their daughter Cindy. Roger has been cremated and there will not be a formal funeral or memorial service. A private family service will be held on May 9th on Fleming Island.

As a LTJG,  Roger earned a Special Instrument Rating (Green Card) without waivers for flight or instrument time. He transitioned to the Crusader at VF-124 at NAS Moffett Field and was designated an LSO. He joined VF-154 and deployed aboard USS Coral Sea from NAS Miramar during the period Jan 60 to Aug 62. He went through Air Traffic Control Center training at Glynco, GA, before assignment to USS Constellation as Assistant Air Operations Officer from May 63 to Mar 65. He was then assigned TEMDU for a year to VRF-32 where he ferried over 10 different types of airplanes all over the US. He attended Naval War College for a year, then went to VT-21 in NAS Kingsville, TX, from Jul 66 through Jun 67 as a flight instructor in TF-9J’s. An inflight fire in a F9F-8T at 40,000’ required an engine shutdown.  Roger made a dead stick landing at Houston Airport, which saved the airplane.

He transitioned to the F-4B Phantom in VF-121 and took over as XO on 12/67 for 1 month and then CO of VF-161 for 16 months at NAS Miramar and aboard USS Coral Sea off Vietnam. While CO of VF-161, with technical help from VX-4, they developed and installed a pilot dog fight radar lockup system in all squadron aircraft, 2 years before the Navy design and less than 1/4th the cost of the approved system. During the deployment on Yankee Station, the squadron returned to the USA with all 13 aircraft and 15 crews that  they left the US with. He next served on CARDIV NINE staff as Plans and Staff Officer and Air Ops Officer for 19 months at NAS North Island and aboard USS Hancock and USS Ranger. He served in BUPERS as Head, Fleet Staff and Carrier Placement Officer for a year then on to his CAG refresher training before taking over as CVW-15 aboard USS Coral Sea and NAS Miramar from Apr 72 to Feb 73. As CAG, he lead the initial mining of Haiphong Harbor with no aircraft losses even though preflight estimates were 30% losses. 

Roger had 775 arrested landings, 300 aboard USS Coral Sea, 285 combat missions in Korea and Vietnam and his combat awards were 2 Legions of Merit, 9 Distinguished Flying Crosses 3 Bronze Stars, 5 Air Medals, 21 Air Medals (Strike Flights) and Navy Commendation Medal w/ Combat “V”.  His B/N while flying the A-6 Intruder from VMA(AW)-224 during the mining flight from USS Coral Sea was Charlie Carr, who had 600 combat missions during his career.  Charlie said, "A professional in all respects, a warrior, an outstanding Naval Aviator and a leader to be emulated. Roger was was one of a few American leaders."

Roger served on CTF-77 Staff as Assistant Chief of Staff Operations and Plans at NAS Cubi Point, PI, for a year then became CO of USS Wichita (AOR-1) home ported in San Francisco, CA, from May 75 to Sep 76. From Oct 76 to Jul 78, he was Staff Personnel Officer on COMNAVAIRPAC staff; then for 26 months he was ComFairWestPac Det Cubi Point, OinC, NAS Cubi Point, PI.  Roger retired after serving 24 months as CNO Area Representative, Deputy, New Orleans, LA.  We have lost a warrior and a true gentleman. He will be missed.

In Sadness,
Don Boecker-Pilot