On April 24, 1946, Adm. Chester W. Nimitz ordered the creation of a Navy flight exhibition team to boost morale and engender good civil-military relations. The legendary Navy chief turned to a war ace, Lt. Cdr. Roy Marlin “Butch” Voris, to whip up a team of F6F Hellcat pilots to do crazy and daring stuff for gawking crowds. The men trained secretly, practicing dicey maneuvers in the empty Florida Everglades so that “if anything happened, just the alligators would know,” as Voris put it.
The Drive has just posted an amatuer video appearing to show the crash of the Blue Angel F/A-18 Hornet that killed pilot Capt. Jeff Kuss during a practice session in Smyrna, Tennessee, on June 2. Despite the many onlookers who were present that day, this is the first footage to surface that seems to capture the events leading up to the tragic incident.