More Tributes to Bug Roach

Bug Roach was a legendary naval aviator, and his legend lives on despite the passage of time since his untimely death in an A-4 mishap in October of 1991.

To learn more about the enigma who was Bug Roach, and why he earned the respect of those both above and below him in rank, read Remembering Bug, a personal remembrance written by then-LCDR Bill Shivell, USN.

Ode to Bug

(To the spirit and tone of Beowulf)

In the spirit of this thread,
I sing the tale
of our honored dead.

Bug Roach was this legend's name
In time all came to sing his fame
If it was your turn for a night in the barrel
Bug took the paddles and vanquished your peril.

I met Bug in '88
When I stood at the starting gate
Miramar was the place to be
Naval Air was my destiny.

Crusaders; Scooters, then TOPGUN
He taught the lessons that were hard won
CAG LSO of Navy reknown,
he was the man to call
Whenever an aviator in trouble
had to call the ball.

But the best story he ever told
Was his own path
To Wings of Gold
Like many from his generation
Bug was old school, from Yankee Station

One Sunday morn, Midshipman Roach
watched the launch of the dawn patrol
Two Scooters, A-4's by name
Of Naval Aviation fame
Pulled into position, ready to roll

But before they launched,
one task remained:
A canopy opened, and the pilot unnamed
blew his cookies, and saved his name
from the scorn of hangover's shame

Then, his morning task complete
this Naval Aviator from the fleet
re-donned his helmet, and adjusted his seat.
Canopy closed, and clearance received,
He went Zone V, and launched to sea
For Bug, it was an epiphany.

In that moment
Bug Roach knew
Exactly what he had to do
Come hell or high water, now or never
His road was Naval Air forever

So he came to Miramar
Crusaders, Scooters, and plenty more.
He did it right
He reigned supreme
He fought the fight
He lived the dream
He inspired us to be like him
A leader, a rock, through thick and thin

So now, think upon my woe
The day I donned my Wings of Gold
To learn that Bug had met his end
Flying the Scooter so long his friend

He died doing what he loved
Teaching those who soar above
Teaching us to do it right
Teaching us the way to fight

Fangs out is the way to go
Bug's the guy who taught us so
And when it's time to trap at sea
Bug's legacy is OK3.

So we hoist a drink to you, dear Bug
We're gonna miss your ugly mug
When God made you, He broke the mold
You exemplified the Wings of Gold.

This poem, which, for lack of a title, we've called "Ode to Bug", was posted on a blog encouraging creative writing. The poster's user name is Marso. We were unable to find a way to reach him, so, Marso, if you're out there, please contact us so we can give credit where credit is due.

We Are the Nation, Bug's prayer at Tailhook

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