Honor the fallen. Support the families.

 

On Wednesday, March 14, 2018, a U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet from the VFA-213 Blacklions crashed off the coast of Key West, Florida around 4:30 EDT.  Both crewmembers were able to eject but were recovered by search and rescue and were taken to a nearby hospital.  

LCDR James Brice Johnson and LT Caleb King both lost their lives in the mishap.  Johnson, a 2007 U.S. Air Force Academy Graduate, was piloting the Super Hornet.  LT King, a 2012 U.S. Naval Academy graduate, was serving as the Weapons Systems Operator.

 LT Caleb King (left) and LCDR Brice Johnson

LT Caleb King (left) and LCDR Brice Johnson

The families and squadron affected by this mishap have given The Wingman Foundation their full support in launching this fundraiser to help with current and future expenses. Rest assured, 100% of all donations will go to those affected.

 

THANK YOU FOR YOUR COMMITMENT TO NAVAL AVIATION. LEND SUPPORT WITH THE BUTTON BELOW.

The Wingman Foundation established the Memorial Patch Program so that our Naval Aviation family can honor their fallen sisters and brothers with a flight patch that squadrons and Gold Star Families were a part in creating.    

We will soon launch a memorial patch to honor the fallen and their brothers and sisters-in-arms in VFA-213.  The Wingman Foundation provides these patches, free of charge to the families and all members of the squadron.  Information on how the public can order the patch will follow.

 

 

The Johnson family would like to request that anyone wishing to share photos and/or videos to please send them to: drama.memorial@gmail.com (Brice's callsign was "Drama")

 

Information from: Navy Times; March 15, 2018

 

Caleb's family asked us to post this on their behalf:

"LT Caleb King grew up in Daytona Beach, FL with his family, all of whom he kept close to his heart. He loved surfing, playing high school football and made lifelong friends who became a part of his family. Caleb was recruited by several colleges but chose to attend the United States Naval Academy. At the Naval Academy, he played football and met his wife, LT Victoria King, in an economics class. The question of who chased whom will always remain a point of contention. His service selection was Naval Flight Officer and he TAD’d as a Navy Sprint Football coach until his flight school report date. Upon earning his Wings of Gold as a F/A 18-F Weapon Systems Office, he became a proud member of the VFA 213 Fighting Blacklions, call sign “She-Ra.” Naturally, Caleb developed a personal bond with every member of Victoria’s family. Caleb and Victoria celebrated their marriage in 2016 while Victoria carried their beautiful daughter, Rain Fury King. In 2017, Caleb deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve and proudly earned an Air Medal. Those who know Caleb know his dedication to fitness and health, his love for all sports, especially Navy Football, Florida Gators, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Dale Earnhardt Jr, his infectious laugh, and the protection he provided to his family. When Victoria deployed to HSC 26 Det 1, his bond with his daughter truly began to flourish. He wanted to show her the strength she has within herself and the importance of family, honesty, and grit. No matter the circumstance, not only did Caleb intentionally choose to be happy, he placed the happiness of Victoria and Rain above himself. Caleb passed as a father, husband, friend, and as the incredible man he was proud to be. He will be remembered and celebrated as such."

 The King family

The King family

 

 

Brice's family asked us to post his obituary, which will be posted in local newspapers: 

"Lieutenant Commander James Brice ‘Drama’ Johnson passed away in a U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet accident on March 14, 2018. He was born in Columbus, Mississippi, on August 21, 1984 to Air Force Officers Wade and Kathy Johnson. His sister, Kallyn, followed 18 months later. The Air Force family moved together to Holloman AFB NM, Keflavik Iceland, Langley AFB VA, Ft. Leavenworth KS, Luke AFB AZ, Maxwell AFB AL, and Randolph AFB TX as Brice was growing up. He attended high school at Brophy College Preparatory in AZ, Saint James School in AL, and Randolph High School in TX in preparation for his appointment to the United States Air Force Academy in 2003.

 

Brice began courting his future bride, Mary Asher ‘Mash’ Vendt, following their first year at the Air Force Academy after connecting at Airmanship 490, Basic Freefall Parachuting. They graduated together in the class of 2007, with Brice commissioning as an Ensign in the United States Navy. He attended Weapons Systems Officer (WSO) training in Pensacola, FL, while Mash attended primary flight training at Whiting Field, FL.  The couple married at the United States Air Force Academy Chapel on August 1, 2009. Brice then moved to Naval Air Station Lemoore, CA and joined the VFA-22 “Fighting Redcocks” as a F/A-18F Super Hornet WSO. He completed two combat deployments onboard the USS Carl Vinson with VFA-22 before being selected for pilot training in Pensacola, FL. In July of 2015, Wade pinned another set of wings upon his chest. After re-mastering the F/A-18F from the front seat, Brice was assigned to the world famous VFA-213 “Fighting Blacklions” at Naval Air Station Oceana, VA. With VFA-213 he deployed a third time, flying combat missions from the USS George H.W. Bush, returning home in August 2017.

 

Drama was “unwillingly” promoted to LCDR in February 2018 (JOPA forever!). He departed this world doing exactly what he loved in service to this great country. He is survived by his wife, Mary Asher ‘Mash’, sister, Kallyn, in-laws, David and Mary Hart Vendt, parents, C. Wade and KJ Johnson, and countless loving family and friends. He will always be remembered for his infectious laugh and huge grin. His ability to light up any room and make us all laugh will be dearly missed. Rest in peace, Brice. Fair winds and following seas...ESBU...“…and touched the face of God.”

 

Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to The Wingman Foundation at www.wingmanfoundation.org or to Camp Wapiyapi where Brice volunteered several summers.  Camp Wapiyapi is a summer camp for children facing pediatric cancer and their siblings at no cost.  Donations may be mailed in honor of J. Brice Johnson to 191 University Blvd #294, Denver CO 80206 Or online https://www.Coloradogives.org/wapiyapi/overview or by calling 303-534-0883."