The U.S. Navy has identified the three aviators who died in the crash of a jet Monday near Harrington, Wash.
The crew members aboard the Navy EA-6B Prowler were: pilot Lt. Valerie Cappelaere Delaney, 26, from Ellicott City, Md; flight officer Lt. William Brown McIlvaine III, 24, of El Paso, Texas; and flight officer Lt. Cmdr. Alan A Patterson, 34, from Tullahoma, Tenn.
McIlvaine graduated from the academy in 2010, majoring in chemistry. He was a member of the 16th company.
Patterson graduated from the academy in 2000. He majored in chemistry and was a member of the 19th company.
The three were assigned to Electronic Attack Squadron 129 (VAQ-129) at the Whidbey Island, Wash., Naval Air Station.
The plane was on a routine training flight across Eastern Washington when the crash occurred before 9 a.m. No cause has been determined and likely won’t be for at least two months, a Navy spokesman said Tuesday.
Teams from Whidbey Island and from other area bases, including Fairchild Air Force Base, spent Tuesday assisting in victim recovery and examining the impact area to identify possible clues as to why the aircraft crashed.
Cappelaere Delaney was a graduate of the Naval Academy, according to a news story in the Baltimore Sun. The article quoted her mother saying her daughter’s life goal was to become a Navy aviator.
Her husband, Sean Delaney, a fellow Maryland native, academy graduate and Navy pilot, is also stationed at the Whidbey Island base.
The Baltimore Sun also reported that Cappelaere Delaney failed in her first attempt to get into the Naval Academy. Determined to enter the Annapolis program, she took a year of preparatory studies at a private school in Massachusetts, excelled there and won a place at the academy the following year.