LTJG Brian Lee Cardiff was born in Columbus, Ohio, on January 2, 1950. He graduated from Linden McKinley High School in June 1968, where he served as Student Council President.
He attended the Naval Academy Preparatory School in Bainbridge, Maryland. Upon completion in May 1969, he entered the United States Naval Academy. He graduated in June 1973, as company commander.
He entered Naval Flight Officer training in Pensacola, Florida, in July 1973, and was designated Naval Flight Officer on May 1, 1974. Prior to reporting to Attack Squadron EIGHTY-FIVE, he was attached to Training Squadron EIGHTY-SIX, Naval Air Station Glynco, Georgia; and Attack Squadron FORTY-TWO, Naval Air Station Oceana,Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Brian reported to VA-85 as Bombadier/Navigator in the A6E Intruder. On June 25, 1975, he was involved in a mid-air collision with an EA-6B Prowler while preparing to come aboard the USS Forrestal (CVA-59) in the Mediterranean Sea. All five aircrew from the two aircraft were forced to eject. All were recovered safely except Brian.
He loved playing golf. He was a big Ohio State Buckeye football fan.