Villanova University is an Augustinian Institution located northwest of Philadelphia, in Villanova, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1842, Villanova currently has approximately 6,300 undergraduates and 3,200 graduate students, and has a long history of training officers for the US Navy. Navy ROTC at Villanova has its roots in World War II, when the University first welcomed Navy Cadets to its campus. The VU NROTC program has consistently produced large numbers of Commissioned Navy and Marine Officers who proudly identify themselves with their respective services and the Villanova Wildcat Tradition.
Many newly commissioned Villanova graduates choose Naval Aviation. This is the brief story of year group 1966 and 1967 Villanova graduates who went into Naval Aviation. A total of 16 biographies are listed of the19 graduates from those two-year groups known to have earned Wings of Gold. Several members were unable to be contacted or chose not to participate. Interestingly, all 19 aviators survived training and years of operational flying, which is notable in its own right. Although two members passed away too early, the rest survived, led honorable lives and even prospered. These are their stories, although brief they may be.
Gerard J. "Jerry" Brett, LCDR USNR. BE Civil VU 1967. Born in Brooklyn, came to VU from Shavertown, Pennsylvania. Naval Aviator number V26979, August 15, 1968. After RAG training assigned to VA-146 at NAS Lemoore. VA-146 became the first fleet squadron to fly the A-7E. Made two combat deployments to Vietnam with VA-146, the first aboard USS America, and the second aboard USS Constellation. Upon completion of sea duty served as instructor in VA-122 until released from active duty on May 18, 1973. Served in the reserves until 1978 with VA-204 flying the A-4L at NAS Memphis, and A-7B at NAS New Orleans. In civilian life spent entire GI Bill in three weeks on a Falcon 20 type rating with no guarantee of a job. Nine months later FedEx called and 30 years later, on February 29, 2004, retired as a wide body Captain. Resides in Memphis home but spend a great deal of time in Florida, Colorado or traveling. Four children and three grandchildren.
William J. Fallon, ADM, USN (Ret.). A.B. VU, 1967, Hon Ph. D VU, 2009. Designated Naval Flight Officer number G-1757, Dec 1967. Active duty 1967-2008. Flew in virtually every naval aircraft in service 1967-1997. More than 4,850 flight hours and 1,350 arrested landings. Deployed in Ranger, Saratoga, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Nimitz, and Theodore Roosevelt. RA-5C Vigilante in Vietnam; A-6 Intruder in Lebanon and Iraq; F-14 Tomcat in Iraq. CO VA-65, COM CVW-8, COM Medium Attack Wing 1, COM Carrier Group 8, COM U.S. Second Fleet/COMSTKFLT, 31st Vice Chief of Naval Operations, COM U.S. Atlantic Fleet/COM U.S. Flt Forces Command, COM U.S. Pacific Command, COM U.S. Central Command (Iraq and Afghanistan). Married to Mary E. (Trapp) Fallon since 1968. Children: Susan, Barbara, William P. and Christina.
Francis G. Fleming, Capt USMC, BE Civil, VU 1967, JD VU Law, 1974, native of Brooklyn. Naval Aviator #T-11407, June 1968. Assigned to MAG 26, HMH-461, New River transitioned to CH-53A, transferred to MAG-36, Third Marine Air Wing, Republic of Vietnam in January 1969. Initially assigned to HMH-462 flying re-supply, troop carrier and medevac missions. February 1969, assigned to the Second Battalion Fourth Marines, as FAC for three months. August 1969, transferred to HMH-361and operated off USS New Orleans and USS Valley Forge and with the USS Sanctuary. Returned stateside in January 1970, having flown more than 300 combat missions and 300 hours combat flight time. Re-joined HMH-361 in Santa Ana, California. Left active duty in Sept. 1971. In civilian life clerked for the Hon Edwin Steel, U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Delaware in 1974/75. Served as an assistant AG State of Arizona, 1976/77 and have been in private practice specializing in aviation litigation since 1978. Married to the former Joanne C. Cooney, three children and eight grandchildren.
Thomas F. Gillespie, LT USN, BS Political Science VU 1966, came to VU from Philadelphia, and was a dayhop who commuted daily to campus. Completed Naval Flight Officer Training and was assigned to a Fighter Squadron as a RIO flying the F-4 Phantom. Although current records are inconclusive, Tom is believed to be a member of a crew responsible for a MIG shoot down in Vietnam. He resigned his commission after his obligated service and returned to the Philadelphia area. Regrettably, Tom passed away in his 30's.
Michael E. Gray, CAPT USNR (Ret.). BE Civil, VU 1967. Entered VU from Westfield Senior High School in Westfield, New Jersey, completed flight training December 1968. Designated a Naval Aviator. VP-56, Pax River & Jax, first squadron with P3-C's. Designated PPC, MC & IP. Two winter deployments to Iceland. VT-29 Corpus Christi, Advanced Navigation School Instructor and T-29 TPC & IP. Resigned from active duty October 1973. Joined reserves at NAS Willow Grove, Philadelphia. Flying P3-B's in VP-64. PPC, MC, IP. CO of NR NAS Rosey Roads, NR NAS Gitmo and NR CVN-71 USS Theodore Roosevelt. Retired from Naval Reserves May 1997. Vice President and Senior Financial Advisor with Merrill Lynch since 1992. Currently resides in Croton On Hudson, New York, with wife Priscilla and daughters Cassidy (15) and Mallory (10). Have two grown sons Todd (41) and Chad (39) plus five grandchildren. Still have a passion for golf, jogging, skiing and vodka as needed.
Donald M. Koshlap, LCDR, USNR (Ret.) inactive reserves. Came to VU from Wayne HS, Wayne, New Jersey. AB Lib. Arts 1966. Completed flight training in September 1967, Aviator # V-25797. Assigned AEW Squadron VW-1, NAS Agana, Guam, Pacific Missile Range, Pt. Mugu, California, and Patrol Squadron 24, NAS Jacksonville, Florida. Flew C/WC/EC 121, S-2, and P3C aircraft operationally. Appointed Special Agent, FBI 9/11/75, retired 10/31/2002. One of the original Bureau Pilots. Developed operational procedures using light aircraft for ground surveillance in highly congested urban airspace. Assigned Charleston, Sout Carolina, and New York, New York. Resides Naples, Florida. Two adult children, Kelly Michael, VU '92, and Kristine Marie. Each child has three children of their own including a set of twins each. Enjoy cooking, fishing, golf and frequent travel.
Gregory S. "K-9" Kuzniewski, Col, USMC (Ret.), a native of Brooklyn, New York. BE Civil, VU 1967, MS Defense Systems Analysis from the Naval Postgraduate School 1977. Basic School 1967, Wings May 1969. Flew F-4 Phantoms, TA-4 Skyhawks and AV-8A/B Harriers, commanded a Harrier Squadron and Marine Aircraft Group. Extensive military staff experience, served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, with the Com Seventh Fleet and the CIC Atlantic. Completed active duty in 1994, retired as a Colonel. Joined Hughes Aircraft Company in 1994, as a member of the technical staff in Cherry Point, North Carolina, and was transferred to Washington in 1995. Raytheon purchased HAC in 1997, and was promoted to Director in 1999. Currently responsible for all of Raytheon's domestic U.S. Marine Corps market and program development. Greg and his wife, Lorraine, reside in Springfield, Virginia, and have two adult sons, daughter-in-law and three grandchildren.
Michael Lazorik, LCDR. BS Physics, VU 1967; USN Aviator wings 1968; VS-21 San Diego, Westpac & Med deployments, USS Saratoga thru 1972; Two yrs. USNR at Willow Grove NAS; Electronic Data Systems 1972 to 1976; Texas Instruments, Dallas 1976-1979; MS Math/Computer Science, Univ. of Texas, 1979; Hogan Systems Inc. Banking Software 1979 to 1992: at Dallas, England, Australia, Germany; IBM, Wall Street, NYC 1993-1994; Care Systems Dallas, CIO: 1994-1995; Perot Systems, Basel Switzerland 1995-1999, Perot Systems NYC 1999-2002; Professor Fordham University Grad School, NYC, 2002-2003; CPT Global Inc. NYC - Florida; 2002 to present(2010)); 2 grown kiddies Michael and Christina in Austin, Texas; living on beach in Florida with wife Lori and our 8-year old daughter Olivia. Life has been very good to me, lots of love and good friends.
William J. McDermond, LCDR USNR. B.S. VU, 1967. Born, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Designated Naval Aviator in October 1968. After A-6 RAG training assigned to VA-176 ("Thunderbolts") as part of CVW-6 aboard USS Franklin D. Roosevelt. Reassigned to VA-75 ("Sunday Punchers") in CVW-3 and completed two Mediterranean cruises aboard USS Saratoga. Assigned to VA-42 (Replacement Air Group) as instructor pilot and head of Carrier Qualification Phase as LSO. Temporary assignment as AIRLANT LSO in 1975. Resigned from active duty in October 1975. Joined Naval Reserve and flew as aircraft commander in C-9 B (Skytrain) for VR-56 until 1980. Resigned from the Ready Reserve in 1980. Joined IBM in 1975. Currently Managing Director handling Prudential Financial Account. Married to Kathleen (Teefy) in 1968. Resides in Manhattan. Six children, Patrick, Monica, William, Kevin, Timothy and Ryan and six grandchildren.
Michael F. McDermott, LCDR USNR (Ret.). BEE VU 1967. Designated Naval Aviator # V27573, December 1968. Hometown: Villanova, Pennsylvania. Commissioned 5/67, Flight Training 9/67-12/68 (VT-1.VT-2, VT-4, VT-22); A-7 RAG (VA-174) 3/69- 8/69; A-7B Squadron (VA-87) 9/69-8/71. Med Cruise USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVA-42) 1/71-7/71. Instrument Instructor Pilot TA-4J (VA-45) 9/71- 9/72. Naval Reservist 10/72- 4/80 NAS Detroit, NAS Los Alamitos, NAS New Orleans, NAS Willow Grove, A-4E, P-2, T-2B and C-118. Total Pilot Time: 2200 hrs. Civilian employment in the petroleum industry in commercial sales, marine chartering and product supply. President of an offshore commodities trading company; an International coal sales group, and an executive at multiple Wall Street brokerage firms in Institutional Energy sales and trading. Retired in Charleston, South Carolina, with wife Cynthia. Two children and four grandchildren.
Larry R. Schultz, LT USNR. BE Mechanical Engineering, VU 1967, came to VU from Bordentown, New Jersey. At VU Larry was a proud member of Phi Kappa PI. Completed Naval Flight Officer training in 1968. Assigned as an NFO to a VAQ Squadron flying the E1-B Tracer, ("Willy Fudd") where he completed a Med and West Pac Cruise aboard USS Shangri La. Upon return from the West Pac cruise, he expected to resign his commission and enter the Wharton School. Unfortunately, he was involved in a motorcycle accident in the Norfolk area and upon recovering received a disability discharge. Larry lived independently in his hometown of Bordentown and was a great and supportive friend of his VU and Navy contemporaries. Larry passed away in 1998. He is missed by all.
Norbert V. Schwartz Jr., CAPT USNR. Ret. BS Economics, VU 1966, MBA Northeastern University 1976. Native of Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania. Completed flight training May 1968, designated Naval Aviator # V26386. Patrol Squadron's 21 and 11 at NAS Brunswick, Maine, flew SP-2H and P3B, designated PPC and ASW MC, completed Active Duty at Recruiting District Boston. Reserve Squadron VP-92, NAS South Weymouth, Massachusetts. Flew P3A's for eight years, completed reserve service as CO Reserve ASW Ops Center, FAW Five, Brunswick, Maine. Total 3100 flight hours. Executive with Interactive Data Corp since 1980, retired in 2002. Resides in Concord, Massachusetts, with wife Maureen, parents of two adult children Michael and Kristin, and one granddaughter Christi, born 12/25/09. Enjoy boating in the Gulf of Maine and a frequent visitor to the Florida Keys.
John M. Sherm, D.O., LT USN. BE Mechanical, VU 1967. DO degree Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, 1977. Initially assigned Staff training officer AOCS followed by flight training and designation as Naval Aviator in 1968. Flew the A-7 Corsair II with Attack squadron VA-105, with deployments to the North Sea and Eastern Med aboard the USS Saratoga CV-60 (Catapult launches exceed arrested landings by one). Advanced Flight instructor (TA-4 Skyhawk) and Training Air Wing staff officer in Kingsville, Texas, till resignation in 1973. In civilian life completed DO degree, internship and 20 years in family practice in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Relocated to the Carolina Coast in 1997, and continue to work in family practice and urgent care. Living in Wilmington, North Carolina, with wife Ginny (original issue). Two sons, and two grandchildren. Nationally ranked Hobie Cat sailor (North American Championship runner-up in 2006), and 5-handicap golfer.
Joseph A. Strada, Ph.D., CAPT, USN (Ret). Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; BSc Math, VU,1967; MSc, DE & Ph.D. Aero Eng, Naval PG School, 1976. Navy Flight Wings, 1968; Flight Safety Officer, NAS Cubi Point, Philippines; Air ASW Pilot, VS-28; Aeronautical Engineering Duty Officer, 1975; Test Director, GPS Joint Program Office, Space & Missiles Systems Center, Los Angeles; Flight Systems Officer, ONR, London, UK; Deputy Program Manager, Joint Tactical Information Distribution System, NAVELEX, Washington, DC; Program Manager, MILSTAR Joint Program Office, SPAWARSYSCOM, Washington, DC; Senior Military Advisor for Space Policy to SECDEF Richard Cheney, the Pentagon; National Finalist, NASA Astronaut Program; National Finalist, White House Fellows Program; married to JoAnne (Leps) Strada and blessed with six children and 13 grandchildren; currently resides in Fairfax, Virginia, employed as a General Manager for the Aerospace Corporation.
Lawrence Stevens, LT USN 1967-75. BS Economics, VU 1967; JD Seattle University 1978. Completed Flight Officer training December 1967, Navy Flight Officer #G-1764. Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron One Atsugi, Japan and Danang, Vietnam 1968-71, Radar Navigator EA-3B, EC-121M. Naval Air Facility, Washington D.C.1971-73, Navigator VC-118. USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) 1973-75; CIC Watch Officer. Resigned Commission 1975. VP & Chief Counsel Washington State Chamber of Commerce 1978-81. Majority Caucus Attorney Washington State Senate 1981-86. Presently attorney and business owner Lakewood, Washington. Married Sandi 1975; two children, Lindsay (Lichtsinn) and Jessica, both USAF Res. Enjoy traveling country setting the captives free.
Jack "Sully" Sullivan, LtCol, USMC (Ret). BE Civil, VU, 1967; Master of Public Administration, Golden Gate University, 1982; Grad Certificate in Occupational Training, UNM, 1991; Certified Safety Professional, 1995. Naval Aviator #T11846, Jan. 14, 1969. HMM-164, CH-46A (HAC), Vietnam, ashore Marble Mountain and Chu Lai, afloat USS Valley Forge and USS New Orleans. HT-18 (Plank Owner), TH-1L Flight Inst., NAS Ellyson Field. HMM-264, CH-46D HAC, MCAS New River, Deployed (Med Cruise) USS Iwo Jima. HMH-362, CH-46F (HAC), MCAS New River, Deployed (Med Cruise) USS Guadalcanal. MAG-36, Flight Safety Officer, MCAS Futenma, Okinawa. LFTC LANT, NAB Little Creek, Chief Inst. FAC School. FMFLANT, Norfolk, Senior Air Liaison Officer. MCAS Yuma, XO, C-12 AC. UNM NROTC, Albuquerque, New Mexico, XO, retired 1990. Second career (1990-2005) as a Safety Engineer at Sandia National Labs. Retired in Albuquerque, with wife Linda. Also in Albuquerque are adult children Christopher and Jennifer (with granddaughter Ella).
Raymond P. Donnelley, LT USNR. BS Biology, VU 1966. A native of Waterbury, Connecticut, Ray was not a NROTC student at VU as he attended VU on a swimming scholarship. In fact he was the first Captain of varsity swimming when it became an interscholastic sport. Ray knew many of us as a dorm mate and when it came time for Ray to serve his country, voluntarily or otherwise, he chose Navy AOCS at Pensacola. Ray served three years on active duty and was on a WestPAC cruise aboard USS Midway with VA 115, an A6 Intruder Squadron, when on July 19, 1972 he was downed over the North. Ray is honored on panel 01W-line 57 on The Wall. May he rest in peace.