Frank Hardy Made My Photographs Two

Blue Angels Group Photos …

with 5 comments


The date on the back of the photo is 6-29-59.  Not sure that this is the date that my father made this photo or just a random date assigned by the Navy.  I only have prints of these images.  The Navy purchased the negatives and they in turn made press releases and publicity photos for autographs.  That is the reason for no lettering on the prints or that is what my father told me.  Back then the Blue Angels did not have a staff photographer or publicity officer for the team.  In fact, from what I have learned, those two jobs were not added until many years later.  It would be interesting if anyone seeing this post might be able to enlightened us with any details on any of this.   Below is one other group photo of the Blue Angels that my father took at this same time …



The third man kneeling from the left is Lt.  Robert ” Bob ” Rasmussen who is a Pensacola resident and it is his jet in the background.  I guess that this group includes the two alternate pilots that fly with the group, but that is just a guess by me.  If I am wrong I apologize in advance and like I mentioned before, if anyone has any stories to share about this group from 1959, please feel free to comment.  I probably should have done some ” googling ” on the 1959 Blue Angels before I created this post, but as usual I did not.  Like I have said before, I am just a photographer and not a historian and I leave the important information gathering to others.  Thanks again for looking and please check back.

PS – I will most likely be adding to this post when I do some ” googling ” … Thanks – Frank

PPS – OK, I went to the official Blue Angel’s web site and their official photo is not one of these images.  The image that they show is one of the pilots wearing their leather flight jackets and not just in their flight suites as the photos here that my father took.  Maybe these were just too informal or something along that line.  But for whatever reason, these were not used.  I did google around and neither of these images popped up on the internet anywhere, which to me is something of a surprise.  At least I feel that I am adding something relevant that people have not seen before when I post to this blog.  Again, please feel free to comment and share any of your Blue Angel stories …

5 Responses

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  1. Frank:

    The photo with the 6 pilots includes from left to right, John Damian, solo. me, slot, Stoney Manock, right wing; Zeb Knot, Lead, Herb Hunter, left wing and Jack Dewenter, Lead Sol;o. I believe Stony and John are still living but I am not sure. Zeb died this last year at 92, Herb was KIA in Vietnam and Jack died a couple of years ago. The photo was taken in Pensacola on 29 June 59, the day after our final show for June at Patuxent River Md.

    We are wearing standard issue Navy khaki flight suits which we wore on all practices , military sponsored shows and cross country flights. We also had blue suits for civilian sponsored shows but nothing like the current outfits.

    The second photo adds our maintenance officer and support aircraft (an R5D) pilot. On the far right is Mark Perrault our Public Affairs Officer and Narrator. Jack died a few years back and I believe that Mark lives in Jacksonville.

    The plane in the background is Bureau Number 138649, the bird I flew in every practice, cross country and Air Show in 1959. Coincidentally, this aircraft sat on a pole at the front gate at NAS Pensacola for about 50 years and belonged to the National Naval Aviation Museum (where I was director for 27 years). Because of deterioration, it was replaced in 2013. We never had the identification number on it so we were unaware that it was a 1959 Blues aircraftIt. It was subsequently loaned to a museum up north where it was restored and put on display. During the restoration the BuNo was discovered. I am not sure that I would have loaned it out had I known it was the F11 I flew in the Blues almost 60 years earlier.



    August 25, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment. I have these photos and you are welcome to them. They are the original 11×14 prints. If you do, please let me know. It might take me a while to find them but they are around. I put them somewhere I could find easily, I just have to remember where. I do not check this site very often, so that is what took me so long getting back to you. Thanks again … Frank


      Frank Hardy

      September 17, 2018 at 11:45 am

      • Frank,
        Thanks for your generous offer – it would be great to get those photos of my father and uncle (Herb Hunter). I’d be happy to pick them up and pay you for them.
        Cheers, Robert Rasmussen



        September 17, 2018 at 9:25 pm

      • Greetings … When I first found the photos years ( and I mean 15 or 20 years ) ago, I thought that I would give them to the Museum and let them do something with them. So one day I ran across them again and actually looked at the men in the photos and recognized you. And the I decided to give them to you and let you have them and do something with them. I saw Buddy Macon over at CHS and mentioned it him and he said that your home in Star Lake had been damaged in Ivan. A lot of your Navy memories had been lost or severely damaged. With all that said, I decided to get them to you so that you could enjoy them. They are in very good condition and are 11×14’s, so all you would need to do is get them framed. I have been looking for them and I will run across them shortly. I am pretty sure I can find you through either Buddy or the museum and I will let you know when I actually have them. Probably in the next month or so. I will be in touch and it is nice hearing from you. Thanks again … Frank


        Frank Hardy

        September 18, 2018 at 7:57 am

  2. Thank you, Frank, for these great photos of the Blue Angels. These were taken five years after I graduated from Pensacola High School–the famous Class of ’54! Your Dad took my wedding photos in Aug. 24, 1957, when I married Jerry Higdon, Sr, at the old Woodlawn Baptist Church on the corner of Davis Hwy. and Airport Blvd. Airport Blvd. was a dirt road then. Unfortunately, my wedding pictures were destroyed when the fire occurred at your Dad’s Studio on 12th Ave. We thought the world of your sweet Dad, Frank Sr!


    Sue Higdon Martin

    February 27, 2017 at 1:53 pm

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