NOTAM 01-2016 (Eggert)
Golden Eagle NOTAM
RADM Lowell Franklin “Gus” Eggert, USN (Ret)
Dear Golden Eagles,
It is my sad duty to inform you that Emeritus Member, RADM Lowell Franklin “Gus” Eggert, USN (Ret), 86 years old, made his Last Take-Off on Sunday, December 27, 2015 at his home in Ocean City, MD. Born in Milwaukee, WI, in 1929 to Frank John Eggert and Caroline Heppert, he was called ‘Bill’ by his family. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Dolores Conlin Eggert and children: Christopher Eggert and his wife Karen of Huntington, MD; Michael Eggert of San Francisco, CA; Martha McWatters and her husband Bernard of Coronado, CA; Kathleen Lucero and her husband Joe of Columbia, MO; Frank Eggert of Arlington, VA; Peter Eggert and his wife Amy of Brookfield, WI; and Gussie Sholtis and her husband Tom of Berlin, MD. There are 11 grandchildren: Katherine Loeffert; Capt Brendan McWatters, USMC; Quinn McWatters; Shannon Hill; Jessie Lucero; Heidi Eggert; Kyle Hill; Lilly Eggert; Mariah Lucero; Annie Eggert; and Midn. Caleb Lucero, and 5 great-grandchildren, 5 nieces and 2 nephews. He was preceded in death by his sister, Corinne Herrmann.
RADM Eggert, nicknamed “Gus” by his classmates, graduated from the U. S. Naval Academy in 1952. He served 14 months on the USS Valley Forge (CVA-45), as Assistant Navigator, next he reported to Pensacola, FL, for flight training, earning his wings on December 23, 1954. He was assigned to Fighter Squadron VF-62/VA-106, completing several Caribbean and Mediterranean cruises. After graduation from the US Naval Test Pilot School, Gus served as an Ordinance Test Project Pilot and later as a Test Pilot Instructor. Subsequent sea tours included Air Operations Officer on the staff of the US Second Fleet and Operations Officer, Attack Carrier Air Wing Eight. Commander Eggert assumed command of VA-192, ”The World Famous Golden Dragons”, flying many combat missions in the A-4F Skyhawk off USS Ticonderoga over Vietnam and was awarded two Distinguished Flying Cross Medals for “heroism and extraordinary achievement” during his deployments. Gus returned to the US Naval Air Test Center and served as Deputy Director and Chief Flight Instructor at the US Naval Test Pilot School. He returned to combat as the Commander of Carrier Air Wing Nine (CAG-9) deployed aboard USS Constellation (CVA-64) leading his Air Wing on extensive combat missions including the largest Air-to Air engagement of the war. Air Wing 9 was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation under his leadership and produced the only US Navy Aces of the Vietnam War. He was awarded the Navy Cross. His subsequent command assignments included command of USS Denver (LPD-9) and command of USS Constellation (CVA-64) in 1974. RADM Eggert served as Commander, Fleet Air Western Pacific in Atsugi, Japan from 1977-79. He retired in 1983 after serving as the Inspector General, United States Atlantic Fleet and Atlantic Command, but he remained active with the Navy, serving as the President of the Board of the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum Association in Lexington Park, MD. The Museum had a grand opening in November 2015.
His children say, “He was a fun dad and shared his love of camping, sailing and skiing with his children. At a young age, he taught them all how to tie a good knot, safely handle a jack knife, build a lean-to, start a fire in the rain, find clean water and the North Star.”
RADM Eggert’s awards include; The Navy Cross, Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit “V” (2), Distinguished Flying Cross (5), Bronze Star, Meritorious Medal and (28) Air Medals. Golden Eagle, RADM Jim Seely, was XO of an A-6 squadron, VA-165, when Gus was CAG on the USS Constellation writes, “CAG was a true warrior and great leader, I was privileged to fly with Gus and would follow him anywhere, losing Gus is a real Blow! Although not an actual member of the “Greatest Generation”, Gus was more than their equal.”
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at the U. S. Naval Academy Chapel in Annapolis, MD, on January 15, 2016 at 10:30 AM. RADM Eggert will receive full military honors and will be interred at the USNA Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, a donation in his memory may be made to: The Patuxent River Naval Air Museum Association, 22156 Three Notch Road, Lexington Park, MD 20653. Letters of condolence may be sent via www.burbagefuneralhome.com.
He will be missed!