Client Showcase: Terry Lauderdale Soars To New Heights!

We enjoy giving to, and promoting, causes and individuals that move us. In this post, we wish to share our appreciation to a longtime friend – who will soon be getting a brand new modern website designed by GINGALLEY.

A big fan of all things related to flight and aeronautics, Terry Lauderdale is a professional guitarist and a great friend. His relationships with some of the United States Navy’s Blue Angels is endearing and worth sharing.

For several years, Terry has visited and performed for the Blue Angels team in California. He has had unforgettable times around the Hornets, and 4 of his guitars flew aboard the famous Fat Albert cargo plane – a C-130T Hercules aircraft. Fat Albert is used to help move equipment from venue to venue, and it also takes part in the shows as a fan favorite.

Since he was very young, Terry has had a passion for planes. He continues to build scale models and collects aeronautical items. His recent projects include building scale models of the blue and gold F/A-18 Hornets and giving them as gifts to friends and other Veterans – most recently in memory of the tragic loss of Blue Angel #6 Captain Jeff Kuss.

It was Terry who arranged the USS Hornet ship staff and Chaplain to ring the ship’s bell 6 times for the late Captain Jeff Kuss, while a memorial was held simultaneously with the Blue Angels team in Pensacola, Florida. Capt. Kuss tragically, yet heroically, died in a crash that took place on June 2nd, 2016. The Navy had stated that he was beginning to take off during an afternoon practice session for the Great Tennessee Air Show when the crash happened. The 5 other F/A-18 jets landed safely moments later. The fast-thinking maneuvering of Kuss during his plane’s failure potentially helped prevent further loss of life.

The love of flight and aircraft that Terry has came from his beloved father, Richard Albert Lauderdale, who was born in 1928 and passed away in 2013. Richard was a B-29 Flight Engineer at Chanute Air Force Base in Chicago, Illinois and then at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas in 1952. After his service, he became a mechanic for United Airlines at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) for 25 years until his retirement.

Richard Albert Lauderdale

Mr. Lauderdale would often take Terry and his 3 brothers to air shows over the years, as well as let the boys visit his workplace and spend time around the aircraft undergoing maintenance. Terry’s grandfather, Marine Sergeant George Lauderdale, was stationed in Nicaragua in the 1920’s for many years, and met his wife there. After Nicaragua, they settled in Texas, and eventually Terry’s dad, Richard, also went to Nicaragua and met the wonderful woman who would become Terry’s mom.

In his natural caring fashion, Terry likes to take others “under his wing”. One USS Hornet pilot in particular, Lieutenant W.B. Sharp “Willie”, code name “Feedbag 108”, is a Vietnam war Veteran who was shot down in his F22 and survived. A video posted to YouTube chronicles the shooting down of LTJG W.D. Sharp on November 18, 1965 in Vietnam – when he flew off the USS Bonhomme Richard CVA-31 he was hit by ground fire, ejected, was captured, escaped, and recovered. Now 76years old, he sadly lost his wife just a couple months ago, he has been a good friend of Terry’s. Terry enjoys spending time with him while listening and sharing stories.

Still enjoying air shows and flight exhibits, Terry shows his appreciation by taking many others to air shows and USS Hornet events. Recently he has taken B-24 pilot CAPT Dave Campbell to the USS Hornet. Captain Campbell flew combat missions over Burma in WWII.

Having been a professional guitarist since the 1980’s, Terry still regularly performs and teaches guitar lessons in and around San Leandro, California. Guitarist Brad Gillis, of Night Ranger (and formerly Ozzy) says that Terry is, “The perfect teacher for advanced guitar lessons!”

Terry is currently the lead guitarist for Ozzy Alive! – an Ozzy Osbourne/Randy Rhoads Tribute band in Oakland, California. He also shreds for HOT FOR TEACHER – a very popular Van Halen Tribute band, and RockSkool – a band that plays a wide range of rock hits. Terry also sits in to perform with many other bands, as well as his own frequent solo performances.

Terry has been invited to Florida to perform for a Blue Angel’s wedding in December. He will get to have his own personal in-depth tour of the Blue Angels Headquarters in Pensacola. He is so good that he has been asked by several Blue Angels for some of his music. His songs may even get to be part of a soundtrack played during an announcer’s broadcasts of the public demos.

About the famous Blue Angels

The Blue Angels is the United States Navy’s flight demonstration squadron created in 1946. Formed “to showcase the pride and professionalism of the United States Navy and Marine Corps by inspiring a culture of excellence and service to country through flight demonstrations and community outreach”. They are the second oldest formal flying aerobatic team in the world (just after the French Patrouille de France that was formed in 1931).

Top Navy and Marine pilots typically serve 2 to 3 years with the Blue Angels. Spectators of the Blue Angels are often amazed by the maneuvers during the air shows. The pilots perform spectacular flying that brings the planes as close as 18 inches together, towards altitudes as high as 15,000 feet, and to speeds as fast as 700 m.p.h. – a velocity approaching Mach 1.

The world-famous Blue Angels are officially based at Pensacola Naval Air Station and can be seen practicing over the Museum at NAS on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings from March to November.

The Blue Angels often defy physics during their aerial feats, and when they are on the ground will make time to meet and greet with fans of all ages.

More about Captain Jeff Kuss

While assigned to VMFA-312, Kuss deployed with Carrier Air Wing THREE (CVW-3) aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. VMFA-312 earned the 2013 Robert M. Hanson Award as the Marine Corps Association’s Fighter Attack Squadron of the Year. Kuss joined the Blue Angels in September 2014. He accumulated more than 1,400 flight hours and 175 carrier-arrested landings. Jeff’s decorations include the Strike Flight Air Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various personal and unit awards. Nationwide condolences went out to his family – his wife, son, and daughter.

Photo Gallery

More Information

USS Hornet Museum – Discover and learn history onboard a former US Navy aircraft carrier now a museum

U.S. Navy Blue Angels on Facebook

National Naval Aviation Museum

Visit Pensacola – Blue Angels