In Memoriam

Lord, guard and guide the men who fly

Through the great spaces in the sky
Be with them always, in the air
In darkening storms and sunlight fair.
Oh hear us when we lift our prayer
For those in peril in the air.
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CAPT Ed Caffrey, USN-ret. Born in Oreland, Pa., he is the oldest son of Edward F. Caffrey, Sr. of Marmora, N.J., and the eclate Mary V.(Sullivan) Caffrey.

He is survived by his wife, Rosemary J. (Danks) Caffrey of Oley, Pa.; a daughter, Jeannine, wife of Anthony Jacobs, of Allen, Texas; a daughter, Joan, of Newport, R.I.; a son, Sean, husband of Angela, of Tampa, Fla.; grandsons Ryan and Noah Jacobs of Allen, Texas; sisters Margaret Sullivan of Mystic, Conn., and Suzanne Bryce of Ocean City, N.J.; and brothers Thomas of Moorestown, N.J., and Eugene of Medford, N.J.

Captain Caffrey retired from the U.S. Navy in 2001 after 30 years of proudly serving our country. He was a carrier naval aviator flying the E-2C Hawkeye. He had the privilege of commanding VAW 121, VAW 120, and Airborne Early Warning Wing Atlantic. During his tenure as Commodore, he established the VAW/VRC Memorial Scholarship Fund to honor fallen aviators.

His other duties included Navigation Officer aboard the USS John F. Kennedy, deployed to the Red Sea in support of Operations Desert Shield/Storm; Chief of Staff to the USS George Washington, deployed to the Med/Persian Gulf; and Joint Military Operations Department Faculty Director, Naval Operational Planner Course, at the Naval War College in Newport, R.I.

Following his naval career, Ed worked as Director of Operations at Valley Forge Military Academy and as Business Development Leader at Engineered Arresting Systems Corporation.

Ed was a graduate of Bishop McDevitt High School in 1966. He earned a B.S. in Finance from La Salle College in 1970 and an M.A. in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College, College of Naval Warfare in Newport, R.I., in 1998.

More here: “The Ties That Bind

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CDR Monroe “Moe” Joe; Ahrenstein, USN-Ret.  July 20, 1931 to January 7, 2013 Monroe Ahrenstein, 81, of Chula Vista, CA, passed away on January 7, 2013. Moe was the CO of VAW-117 from 1974 – 75 and a “plankowner” for VAW-124.  Moe’s wife of 51 years followed him this past July.  They are survived by their daughters, Lesa, Robi, and Stacy; son, Rhys; and sons-in-law, Steve and Jim; in addition to many friends and family.

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LCDR Joe “SJ” Wilson – a former BEAR ACE x2 and former VAW/VRC Detailer – passed away this week.  SJ was coming through VAW 120 as a prospective VAW 125 Department Head at the time of his death.  A memorial service is scheduled for 1300 on 31 October 2014 at the U-40 auditorium aboard Naval Station Norfolk and should last one hour. Following the service indoors there will be an assembly outside of the U-40 auditorium (weather permitting) for the playing of taps and memorial fly-by of an E-2. An informal gathering at the Breezy Point Club will follow to raise a glass to SJ.

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1027310-1_142908CAPT Edward C. “Ned” Geiger, USN-Ret. born January 18, 1950, passed away suddenly on March 20, 2012 at his home.  Ned was, most of all, a loving husband to his wife of 34 years, Cherie. The greatest blessing in their life is their son Joshua, a 1LT in the United States Army currently serving in Afghanistan, and his wife, Cindy Kao, clinical psychology doctoral candidate at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles.

A graduate of Kenyon College and the Naval War College, Ned is fondly remembered by many as a good friend to be relied upon in difficult times and with whom to share festive occasions. Ned served in the United Sates Navy for 30 years retiring as a Captain in 2002. He then joined Engineering Services Network, finally retiring in 2011. His retirement, though brief, brought him great happiness. He had the gifts of cherished friends and a family who loved him very much. He was at peace with his life.

Ned is also survived by his brother, Dr. Ralph Geiger, his sister-in-law, Terri Hamilton, and 2 nieces and a nephew. Others who will fondly remember his friendship and partnership are his colleagues from the E-2 C Hawkeye community, his DGSIT partners at ESN, and his friends from The Williams School. (via PilotOnline).

ned is fondly remembered in the VAW community for his time in VAW-122, RVAW-120, VAW-121 and as CO of the VAW-126 Seahawks. For more, read here: “The Ties That Bind – Remembering Ned Geiger”

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CDR Andrew A. Coletti, USN-Retired, 59, passed away on Thursday, January 15, 2015. Born in Massachusetts, he served in the U.S. Navy for 31 years. After retiring he continued to work for the Navy as a civilian employee. He loved being with children and watching the New England Patriots. He was deeply committed to his faith and his church. He was preceded in death by his father, Dominic Coletti. Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Marylou Coletti; daughter, Arlene Francis Coletti; mother, Elizabeth Coletti; sister, Catherine Abbadanzio (Henry); brother, Danny Coletti; and niece, Amy; and nephew, Christopher. The family will receive friends at Hollomon-Brown Funeral Home, Kempsville Chapel on Thursday, January 22, 2015, and Friday, January 23, 2015, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The funeral service will be conducted at 10 a.m. Saturday, January 24, 2015, in the funeral home chapel by Dr. Grace Milo. Interment will follow in Colonial Grove Memorial Park. Condolences may be offered to the family at

In a 2003 interview by The Flagship (cached article), then-LCDR  Coletti reflected on his career to that point:

Andrew Coletti.  Looking for a little adventure and something different than in his hometown of Newton, Mass., he enlisted in 1974 as an aviation electronics technician.Coletti said he only intended to serve two years in the Navy but enjoyed his first tour in then-NAS Miramar in San Diego as an F-8/J plane captain so much, he extended for an additional year.He then chose to reenlist after being offered the orders he requested.

As with many military careers, the years went by until by the 10-year point he had made chief and was considering staying until retirement.He had served in a variety of billets, including Navy recruiter, assistant chief master at arms and maintenance control chief.

At that time, he was working for a limited duty officer who suggested Coletti should apply for the LDO program.After checking out the LDO program, he thought there would be more promotion opportunities available as an LDO, so he applied.The main factor Coletti attributed to his selection for as an LDO was “superior performance in sea duty billets.”

Like Avery, Coletti attended several different colleges, using programs through Navy Campus, to pursue his bachelor’s degree.He began at Chapman College and completed his degree through Excelsior College in New York.

Coletti concurs with that advice.”The key to selection to any program is your performance in your current job.”He added that by keeping your eye on a short-term goal, such as excelling in your current job, makes a long term goal easier to reach.

Coletti advised, “Commitment is really the key to a long and successful career.”Both officers said that a successful military career takes commitment on the part of family members as well.Coletti said he’s been very fortunate that his wife Malou has been willing to commit to the many overseas moves and long absences.

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photo_142538_WT0033440_1_fullsizerender_20150610 Captain Thomas R. Overdorf USN, ret. died peacefully in his home on June 4th, 2015 at the age of 85. Born in Johnstown, PA in 1929 to Theodore R. Overdorf and Lillian (Rodgers), Overdorf was an aviator, a loving husband and father and a dedicated contributor to his community. A 1947 Johnstown High School graduate, Overdorf earned a scholarship to Pennsylvania State University as a Naval ROTC candidate. He was a midshipman in the Holloway Plan and graduated with a BS in Ceramic Engineering in 1951. Overdorf embarked on a thirty year career in the Navy during which he also completed an MS in International Affairs from George Washington University.

Overdorf earned his wings as a naval aviator in 1955 and toured the globe. Highlights of his career include posts as Flag Lieutenant on the staff of Commander Alaska Sea Frontier; test pilot for Grumman Aircraft; Aircraft Handling Officer aboard USS Wasp (CV-18) during the recovery mission of Gemini 4 spacecraft; first Commanding Officer of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron VAW-124 flying carrier-based E-1B Tracers and the E-2C Hawkeye aboard the USS Independence (CVA-62). He then served as Commanding Officer of RVAW-110 training squadron located NAS North Island, CA. Overdorf was Executive Officer and acting Commanding Officer aboard USS Constellation (CVA – 64) for the ‘71-72 WestPac deployment to Southeast Asia and a recipient of The Bronze Star medal; Chief of Naval Operations staff, Head of the Carrier Warfare Branch in OPNAV at the Pentagon. While in Washington, DC, he was an aircraft carrier aviation consultant for the exhibit at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Overdorf’s military career concluded with a final post as Professor of Naval Science and Commanding Officer of the NROTC unit at Holy Cross College in Worcester, MA.

Overdorf lived in Grafton, MA for forty years where he had his second career at Washington Mills. A great lover of his family, the Navy, dogs and horses, cribbage and a dry martini; Overdorf’s quick wit and even temperament will be missed. His dedicated contributions to his community include service as Moderator at the Congregational Church of Grafton, a seat on the Town of Grafton Board of Appeals and a Director of the Grafton Credit Union. Overdorf and his wife moved from Grafton, MA to Stuart, FL in 2013. He is survived by his wife of fifty-four years, Judith, and his children, Jill of Torrance, CA and Toby of Stuart, FL, daughter-in-law Maggie and grand-daughter Carleigh. Overdorf is survived by his brother David (m. Shari) of Sarasota, FL and predeceased by his brother Richard (m. Joanne).

A celebration of life will be held at a later date in Grafton, MA. A service at Arlington National Cemetery will also be held later in 2015.

The family asks that if memorial contributions are made, they are sent to either of the following organizations:

• Wounded Warrior Project, 4899 Belfort Road, Suite 300, Jacksonville, FL 32256

• Congregational Church of Grafton, P.O. Box 421, Grafton, MA 01519-0421

Please direct any questions to: Judy Overdorf 508.839.5662​June 9, 2015

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Gary E. Carter CDR USN (Ret.)
900760On Saturday, October 17, 2015  CDR Gary E. Carter, USN-Ret of Alexandria, VA was killed while riding his motorcycle with his church motorcycle group.
Beloved husband of Julie A. Carter; father of Jason A. and Christopher E. Carter; son of Earl and the late Billie Jo Carter; brother of Jerry and Burt Carter. Relatives and friends may call at Jefferson Funeral Chapel, 5755 Castlewellan Dr. Alexandria, VA on Friday, October 23, 2015 from 3 PM until time of service at 5 PM. Inurnment private. – See more at:


CDR Michael Brent Kitchen, USN  (Virginia Beach – 9 Sep 2015)  passed away in Virginia Beach, VA at the age of 56.  Michael is preceded in death by his father L. Gene Kitchen and mother Betty J. Kitchen.  Michael was born 1 Sep 1959 in Amarillo, TX.  He graduated from New York State of Regents in 1987 with a degree in Systems Engineering.  Michael married Jennifer on 19 April 1986.

A Navy veteran, Michael began his service as an Electronics Technician (ET) in USS CINCINNATI (SSN 693) and then was commissioned through the Aviation Officer Candidate School program at NAS Pensacola, FL.  After Basic NFO training at VT-10 he proceeded to Norfolk for training at VAW-120 in the E-2c.  Fleet assignments included VAW-127 “Seabats” and VAW-123 “Screwtops.”  After the Navy, Michael worked for BMH and Alion Science and Technology as a modeling and simulation programmer.  After leaving Alion, Michael successfully started and ran his own businesses – BRAKE-FAST, JKM and R&M Aerial Imagery.

Michael’s children remember him as a kind and loving man.  His wife remembers him as her oldest and dearest friend and loving husband.  Michael was an accomplished entrepreneur and inventor, holding several patents.  He was passionate about making things better.

A memorial service is scheduled for 5:30-6:30 PM Thursday, 10 Sep 2015 at Rosewood-Kellum Funeral Home; 601 North Witchduck Road, Virginia Beach, VA.  All are welcome to attend and celebrate Michael’s life.  In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the family (The Kitchen Family 4408 Monmouth Castle Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23455) to help with medical and final expenses.  The family would like to thank the University of Virginia Transplant clinic medical staff and Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital and hospice center.  The family sends their heartfelt thanks to all who have offered kindness and words of love in this trying time.

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T11991240012_20160205Michael Anthony Carr, of Washington, DC, passed peacefully at home in the company of his family on Tuesday, February 2, 2016, after a year-long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was born in the District of Columbia on July 23, 1963, and was a graduate of Blessed Sacrament School, Gonzaga College High School and the University of Maryland, College Park. In June 1992, Michael married the love of his life, Lisa Manheimer. They were the proud parents of two sons, Joseph Franklin and John Griffith.
Michael served in the United States Marines Corps from 1981 until 1985 and continued his military career as a naval aviator. He was a veteran of the Persian Gulf War, ending his service in the US Navy at the rank of Lieutenant Commander. After leaving the Navy in 1996, Michael embarked upon a career as a pilot with Delta Airlines, achieving the rank of Captain of the Boeing 737.
Michael”s distinctive force in this world was his joy in connecting with people everywhere he went; his love of life and the people that inhabited his journey through it were his everything. He had a gift for maintaining ties from every stage of his life, going back to his days hanging out with his neighborhood gang in Rock Alley, shenanigans with his high school friends from Eye Street, and flying with his Navy and Delta buddies. He collected friends throughout his Naval career-starting with his training days, in the VAW-124 squadron flying the E-2C Hawkeye, and concluding as a flight instructor teaching students to land on aircraft carriers in the T-45 Goshawk.
Michael took great pleasure and found deep meaning in spending time with his sons, his wife, family and close friends. His adventurous spirit took him around the world. He loved his bi-annual family camping trips, snowboarding, hiking with his beloved dogs Ajax and Biggie, and discovering delicious eats.
Michael was predeceased by his mother, Milagros J. Carr. He is survived by his wife, Lisa; his sons, Joe and John; his father Robert F. Carr II, and his siblings, Chris and his wife Peggy, Tina and her partner Susan Wattik, Rob and his wife Missy, and Sarah and her husband John Windmuller. He was the devoted uncle to 11 nieces and nephews, two grand-nephews and one grand-niece. He also leaves behind many extended family members who loved him both here and in the Philippines.
Funeral services were held on Saturday, February 6, 2016, at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament and interment at Arlington National Cemetery will be at a later date.