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January 28, 2015

Ensign Dan Hummel, Vinton, Iowa, Sig Ep, UCM, Killed in Mid-Air Collision of Two Navy F-14's 1983

Ensign Daniel P. Hummel “Doll” 
Vinton, Iowa

Naval Flight Officer 
Killed 17 March 1983
CVN-69 Attached to VF-142 Ghostriders
Sig Ep Brother - Missouri Theta - UCM (CMSU) Warrensburg, MO
Ens. Daniel Perry Hummel 
US Naval Aviator
F-14A Tomcat (CVN 69)
Vinton, Iowa

Ens. Daniel Perry Hummel was assigned to VF-142, 1983
Dan Hummel, Sigma Phi Epsilon</ Fraternity Brother

VF-142 Ghostriders
Dan's Aircraft, 161431 F-14A   VF-142 
17.03.1983  "Dakota 205" Collided with 
161439 and crashed into Caribbean 
100 miles north of Puerto Rico (night 
training) while operating  from USS 
Dwight D. Eisenhower. CVN-69 161439 F14-A VF-143 " 17.03.1983

In Memoriam Ens. Daniel Perry Hummel
Link page 527

January 7, 1983 CVN 69 departed Naval Station Norfolk for Type 
Training Phase I in the Puerto Rican Op. Area.
January 25, The Eisenhower anchored off the coast of Ft. Lauderdale for a four-day port visit. Embarked 200 male "Tigers" for a week-long trip to Norfolk. Conducted CQ en route home.
February 24, The Dwight D. Eisenhower underway again for another round of Type Training off Puerto Rico. Visit to St. John, Antigua, March 8-12, before conducting Type Training Phase III and ORE.
March 7, During hot refueling of two Tomcats from VF-142 near the starboard foul line, the starboard wing of a Viking from VS-31 struck one of the F-14As, ripping its probe from the S-3A. Fuel immediately began streaming from the Tomcat over the crowded flight deck, quickly spreading under aircraft with engines turning over and live missiles attached. ADC Raymond L. Goodwin, the VF-142 line supervisor, seeing a potential disaster unfolding, immediately directed a tow tractor to the stricken aircraft. Climbing atop it, he stopped the flow of fuel as the volatile liquid cascaded over him. Chief Goodwin’s rapid and spontaneous reaction prevented what would most certainly have erupted into a catastrophic fire, buying the ship precious moments as the crash and salvage team responded.
March 17, An F-14A from VF-143, piloted by Lt. William G. Welch and Lt. j.g. Wolfgang E. Thiel, and an F-14A from VF-142, piloted by Lt. Cmdr. Kenneth W. Pritchard and Ens. Daniel P. Hummel, collided and crashed at sea, while the ship was conducting Type Training Phase III off Puerto Rico. An SH-3D from HS-5 recovered Welch and Thiel, but Pritchard and Hummel perished during ejection. During the same exercise, an F-14A, assigned to Fighter Squadron (VF) 142, suffered a hydraulic failure, caught fire and crashed at sea. Cmdr. John M. Sumnick, CO of VF-142, and Lt. j.g. Christopher U. Browne were recovered with minor injuries.
April 27, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower departed Naval Station Norfolk for its fourth major deployment.
March 17, 1983 

Aircraft of CVW-7 aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower
(CVN 69) - April 27, 1983
F-14 Tomcats from VF-142 overfly USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69)
F-14 Flyby Video Link
F-14's of VF-142 Ghost Rider
Daniel was born on February 18, 1956 and was from Vinton, Iowa. Dan died in a non-hostile incident in North Atlantic Ocean at the age of 27.  
We were informed at the funeral that the mid-air collision during a nighttime training missed forced Dan and the pilot to eject. Ens. Hummel as the RIO officer ejected from the back seat of his F-14A Tomcat but the canopy could not cleanly release due to the collision and he was ejected into the canopy.  
Dan was a great, great guy and fraternity brother. He was so full of life and with a life long love and passion for flying. We thank Ensign Hummel and his family for his service and sacrifice to our country and for the great memories we hold dear his those great memories with him. Rest in Peace Aviator.
Dan was the son of Kyle Hummel, an Iowa State Representative at the time and his mother Shirley Hummel and siblings Debra, Alan, Steven, Karol, and Karen.
Gravesite Link
The type of helmet "Ghostrider markings" was featured in many Hollywood blockbuster movies such as Top Gun, The Final Countdown etc.

High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air. . . .
Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

— John Gillespie Magee, Jr

I think I've known a million lads,
Who say they love the sky;
Who'd all be aviators,
And not afraid to fly!

For Duty, Honor, Country,
Their courage I admire!
But it takes more than courage, son,
To get to be a flyer.

When you are only twelve years old
Of course you want to fly!
And tho' you know not what is Death,
You're not afraid to die.

But of the million, more or less,
All must have perfect eyes;
So only half a million now,
Can dream of future skies.

Then comes high school, science, math;
Some choose the easy way:
Football, cars, and dating girls;
Teen pleasures hold their sway.

And of the quarter million left,
One half go on to schools;
The other half will dream and drift,
And never learn the rules.

Now comes the day of testing,
Eight hours of Stanine Hell;
On every subject known to man,
Four-fifths will not do well.

The one in five who pass this test
Apply for flying schools,
The Application Boards will now
Eliminate the fools.

Then comes two days of nakedness,
Flight Surgeons poke and prod;
To pass this Flying Physical
One needs to be a God!

And now, five hundred lucky souls
Will start their Pre-Flight days;
Endure demerits, hunger, cold,
As upperclassmen haze.

One- half survive this mental game,
And go to Primary schools,
But only halfwill hack the course,
Move on to Basic rules.

Two hundred fifty now will try
To pass those Basic tests;
Formation flight soon separates,
The "tiger" from the rest.

One hundred twenty five will then
Pin on those pilot wings;
The best become hot fighter jocks;
The rest fly other things.

Some will die while learning those
Essential combat skills;
Some will die in combat,
Some will score their "kills".

But they have learned a lesson,
Sometimes lost on you and me;
We must always fight for Freedom,
Because Freedom's never free!

He's a knight in shining armor,
That the cruel tyrants fear;
He's that deadly drop of venom
On the tip of Freedom's spear.

Engaging him in battle is a course
That only fools would choose;
He's the world's fiercest warrior,
For he has the most to lose.

So when you see that fighter pilot,
Standing at the bar;
Taking out the garbage,
Or tuning up his car.

You'd best walk up and offer him
Your thanks, extend your hand;
He's that rare "one in a million" who
Protects this sacred land.

If you have any pictures, stories, clarifications please send an email to

News :: Vinton airman Dan Hummel still remembered, 32 years after fatal crash
By Dean Close ·February 3rd, 2015

Dan Hummel: Vinton native died in 1983 Navy F-14 training exercise.

As we at Vinton Today continue to compile our list of veterans – our attempt to honor those who have served their country, we often receive information about soldiers, sailors and airmen who have not been added to that list.

This week, an email from Sweden shared the story about one such veteran, U.S. Navy Ensign Dan Hummel.

Hummel, the son of Kyle and Shirley Hummel of Vinton, died March 17, 1983, in an training accident while serving as a Navigator on an F-14 fighter jet.
Hummel was the navigator on the fighter, which collided with another F-14 during a training exercise near Puerto Rico. The Navy crews had been part of the CVN-69, the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier commonly known as the U.S.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower. While both airmen from the other F-14 safely ejected, Hummel and his crew mate, Lt. Cmdr. Kenneth W. Pritchard, perished in the collision.
After graduating from high school in Vinton, Hummel attended the University of Central Missouri, where he was a member of the Sig Ep Fraternity.
“Dan died doing exactly what he wanted to do…in a jet, going fast, serving his country and no doubt I can imagine a big grin on his face every time the catapult launched him, and they hit the afterburners going straight up,” said Bruce Uhler, one of Hummel’s Sig Ep brothers. “Flying an F-14 Tomcat is a long way from his days flying a Cessna 152 in college but we know Dan enjoyed every second when he was in the air.”
The passing of time has helped Uhler remember Hummel better, and also understand the sacrifice he and his family made for their country. Uhler’s son, a Marine Infantry sergeant, returned from Aghanistan in 2014, at about the same age Hummel was when he died.
“Dan’s fraternity brothers, like myself, are all about the age as his parents were when Dan gave his life,” said Uhler. “Getting older puts a ‘full circle’ perspective to what military families like the Hummels endure and the sacrifices they make. In a small way we can try to comprehend what the Dan’s family and friends endured,” he said.
Another college friend and roommate was Kevin Visser.
Now a lawyer in Cedar Rapids, Visser says Hummel gave him his first introduction to Iowa.
"Dan is one of the most memorable people I have ever known," said Visser. "He introduced me to his, in Iowa, which I hardly knew would become my own home.
Hummel was at the same time very serious and very funny, says Visser.
"Dan had an infectious enthusiasm which attracted people to him, and a very determined focus on flying. He had a catchy phrase for every situation, several of which could perhaps be printed in your publication though none of those quickly come to mind. Life was a dare to Dan Hummel, and he took that dare every day he lived. Dan’s quick smile was disarming, but his serious intent could never be questioned. Dan was a serious student, which perhaps made it all the more enjoyable when he cut loose in a decidedly unabashed fashion---his climbing of the local airport tower (at night) was a signature move, with a talismanic effect on the local co-eds he conscripted to accompany him," his friend recalls. "Dan’s sincerity was the foundation of his charm. He was an individualist, yet always a man in whose company one would be proud to be. I think of him often and miss him greatly."
Hummel’s father, Kyle, was serving in the Iowa House at the time of the accident. Rep. Hummel learned of his son’s death while in Des Moines; an Iowa Highway Patrol Trooper drove him home to Vinton.
See a tribute page to Ensign Dan Hummel HERE.


Anonymous said...

Thank you

Kevin Branham said...

Brings back many memories. I was in VF 142 working the flight deck that night. It was a night I will never forget. RIP Hummer...

Jim Clausen said...

Dan was my best friend going through the F-14 RAG in Oceana, VA. He was smart, funny, loyal and always helpful. He attended my wedding in Sep of '82. I was on deployment with VF-84 in the USS Nimitz when I heard this news....simply devastating. I still think of him often, and am very glad to see he's well remembered in Vinton. God bless Dan!

Jim Clausen
Alexandria, VA