The Landing Signal Officer referred to and handling this recovery was "Bug" Roach1944-1991
CDR Roach was born in Monterey, Calif. and received his Naval Aviator wings in 1966. He served as an F-8 Crusader pilot and Landing Signal Officer (LSO) during the Vietnam War, making combat cruises with three different air wings on three different 27C class carriers. In 1990 the Navy League sponsored an award to recognize professional LSO performance, on the LSO platform. Based on his unsurpassed expertise on the LSO platform, the Navy League felt very strongly that they wanted to name the award the "CDR John "Bug" Roach Paddles Award", while CDR Roach was still on active duty. At the 1990 Tailhook Convention, where the first award was presented, the following facts were supplied about CDR Roach's LSO career:
He made four separate CAG LSO tours. In addition he was recalled on two other occasions as a ready alert CAG LSO due to his expertise. During his tenure as a CAG LSO he waved without mishap:
*ten barricade arrestments
*twenty single engine approaches
*five aircraft missing main landing gear
*two A-4 aircraft with major battle damage
*the first ever S-3 with an unlocked wing
*a night, hand-held radio (PRC-90), talkdown of six aircraft with no
meatball and with the flight deck illuminated by the headlights of flight
deck tractors, following a total engineering casualty on the ship.
Subsequent to these accomplishments, when events began heating up in the Middle East in 1990, CDR Roach volunteered his services as CAG LSO yet again and deployed with CVW-2 to the war zone. It was on this cruise that he made his 1,000th arrested landing. In more than 25 years of Naval service, CDR Roach never had a non-flying tour. On 2 October 1991 while on an adversary flight in an A-4E off the coast of Southern California, CDR Roach was killed when his aircraft lost power and he was unable to successfully eject from the stricken aircraft.