Marine Corps Captain Michael Glenn Blaisdell lost his life while serving his country on August 30, 1995. A dedicated Naval Aviator, Captain Blaisdell was honored to serve his country as a Marine and was doing so when the F/A-18 Hornet he was flying malfunctioned and crashed.
Known as Glenn to his family and friends, Glenn was admired for his faith, love of family, and service to community. He was a resident of New Palestine and graduated from Warren Central High School. Upon graduating from Hanover College in 1991 with a BA in Economics and Business Administration, Glenn felt called to serve his country and joined the United States Marine Corps Officer’s Program. He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in December 1991, at the Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. He was assigned to Training Squadron Seven Eagles at Naval Air Station Meridian, Mississippi where he soon earned the rank of 1st Lieutenant. In 1994 he earned his Wings of Gold at the Naval Aviation School Command at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida. 1st Lieutenant Blaisdell became Carrier Qualified on board the USS America and earned the Top Hook Award on board the USS Eisenhower. Shortly thereafter, he was assigned to fly the F/A 18 Hornet with Strike Fighter Squadron VFA-106 Gladiators at Naval Air Station Cecil Field in Jacksonville, Florida.
1st Lieutenant Michael Glenn Blaisdell was awarded the rank of Captain posthumously on August 31, 1995. An investigation by the Naval Air Systems Command identified that a dirty part and misaligned piston seal caused his F/A 18’s rudder and engine failure. As a result, the 1997 Navy’s investigation report included recommendations to study whether certain parts should be redesigned and to improve the cleanliness of shops that work on hydraulic components. Since that time, said improvements have saved the lives of countless aviators.
Glenn was active in his church and community in Jacksonville where he enjoyed working with USMC Toys For Tots and a mentoring program for youth. Glenn was an avid Indiana Pacers fan and carried the Pacers logo in his jet. He had a heart of gold and great sense of humor that was evident when helping others through life’s challenges. Glenn’s delightful personality is captured in a book dedicated in his honor called Bogeys and Bandits: The Making of a Fighter Pilot, published in 1997 by Robert Gandt. The book, available on Amazon, gives an insider’s look portraying the day-to-day lives of Glenn aka “Burner” and his fellow aviators.
Captain Blaisdell’s favorite scripture was Isaiah 40: 31-but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Glenn’s parents Mike and Joyce know that Glenn achieved his goal to soar with the eagles and want to pass his spirit forward through a establishment of the Captain Glenn Blaisdell, USMC-Naval Aviator Memorial Scholarship Endowment. Captain Blaisdell’s rich legacy will be perpetuated through the scholarship by providing financial assistance to students. May the recipients honor his memory through the attainment of their educational goals.