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Blue Angels’ Founder to Speak at Hartnell College

February 17th, 2005

Roy M. "Butch" Voris, founder and first leader of the United States Navy’s Blue Angels, will speak at Hartnell College on Tuesday, Feb. 22,

The talk, which is free and open to the public, will be held at noon in Steinbeck Hall of the College Center. A no-host lunch will be available.

His appearance is part of the college’s Scholar-in-Residence Program. The title of his talk is "The First Blue: the Story of the Creation of the Blue Angels."

Voris, a former Hartnell student, founded the Blue Angels in 1946. The organization is now one of the most famous flight demonstration teams in the world.

Always interested in aviation, Voris — as a youth — was an avid reader of World War I stories of famous pilots and their aerial battles. With these dreams in mind, he was accepted into a naval aviation flight-training program in 1941.

By February of 1942, he was designated a naval aviator and ordered to Flighting Squadron 10 on the U.S.S. Enterprise in the Pacific Fleet. During his career as a carrier fighter pilot, Voris earned ACE status for shooting down eight enemy fighters during World War II.

After the war, Voris was personally chosen by Admiral Chester Nimitz to start the Blue Angels and to lead them, first in prop planes and later in jets.

His involvement in flying did not end with the Blue Angels. He also worked for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, where he was involved with the Lunar Excursion Module, and the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corp.

Voris, who retired to Monterey, has been awarded many honors, including the induction into the International Council of Air Show Foundation’s Hall of Fame in the Smithsonian Institution.

For more information about his Hartnell appearance, call (831) 755-6810.