Services scheduled for retired Navy aviator
March 12, 2012
Funeral services have been scheduled later this month for a retired Navy
captain who was killed Tuesday when his Israeli-built F-21 Kfir jet crashed
into a small arms munition building at Naval Air Station Fallon.
Retired Capt. Carroll LeFon, 51, was flying the F-21 jet, which was owned by
Airborne Tactical Advantage Co., based in Newport News, Va., when he veered
into the building near the northwest gate. ATAC simulates enemy aircraft for
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Navy pilots during exercises as part of the training at the base.
Since a civilian pilot was flying a civilian aircraft, the NAS Fallon Public
Affairs Office said the National Transportation Safely Board will be
investigating the accident. At the time of the crash, which occurred at
about 9:15 a.m., the weather was snowy and foggy with northeast winds
gusting up to 30 miles per hour and the temperature hovering near 31
According to a press release from ATAC, services for LeFon will be conducted
on March 27 at 1 p.m., at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego. He
leaves behind his wife and three children including a son who flies MH-60S
ATAC CEO Jeff Parker of ATAC said LeFon was also known as the military
blogger Neptunus Lex.
“ATAC, the Navy and Lex’s family have lost a skilled pilot a great husband
and father, and a great friend; words cannot describe the loss our company
and employees feel with Lex’s departure,” Parker said. “That said, our loss
pales in comparison to our commitment to the family, their well being and
ensuring we honor Lex’s memory and accomplishments fully.”
Originally from Alexandria, Va., LeFon was a 1982 graduate of the U.S. Naval
Academy in Annapolis. He earned his wings in 1987 and reported to his first
fleet squadron, Strike Fighter Squadron 25.
Other tours followed as an instructor at the Navy Fighter Weapons School,
“TOPGUN,” and he commanded Strike Fighter Squadron 94 from June 2001 to
July 2003. LeFon deployed seven times, serving on the aircraft carriers
Constellation, Independence and Carl Vinson. He earned two Legions of Merit,
two Meritorious Service Medals, the Air Medal (Strike/Flight Award), two
Navy/ Marine Corps Commendation Medals and the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement
Rear Adm. John S. Miller said he was stunned by the aviator’s untimely
death. LeFon was operations officer on the USS Constellation for almost two
years when Miller served as commanding officer. The last time Miller saw
LeFon was in Fallon.
“Lex was unique because he is one of the only people I’ve ever met who was a
great fighter pilot, superb naval officer, big thinker and terrific family
man all rolled into one,” Miller said in an email from Washington, D.C. “We
will miss him more than we know.”
Miller served as commander of NSAWC until October when he was relieved in a
change of command ceremony.
Scores of other military bloggers have posted their reflections of LeFon on
various websites. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus said LeFon was “a great
naval aviator, a professional analyst of all things naval, and a soulful and
compelling writer of poetry and prose.” Parker also said he wanted to
express ATC’s gratitude for the numerous comments from both the bloggers and
official military channels.
“I am humbled by the outreach and support from the Navy,” said Parker.
According to Parker, ATAC senior management recently attended the latest
TOPGUN graduation ceremony “where toasts were given honoring Lex from the
Instructors and Commander of TOPGUN, and the Commander of Naval Air Station
To view the memorial page to Carroll “Lex” LeFon, please visit