Original Blue Angels Member Visits Grand Junction Air Show
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- Al Taddeo is the last surviving member of the original U.S. Navy Blue Angels team.
"I was one of the lucky four to five people they selected, and they've carried on the tradition since June 15, 1946," he said.
Taddeo was in Grand Junction with his son Ed, who resides in Grand Junction, to see the Blue Angels perform at the air show. "I just love the fact that they are still carrying on after 66 years ago, when we first started," said Taddeo.
Ed said he couldn't be happier spending this show with his father. "It's history. It's awesome; I'm proud of him," said Ed Taddeo.
Taddeo recalls flying in the Blue Angels, and says no matter how many times he flew, it always brought back one feeling. "We always had rushes, adrenaline rushes, every flight, whether it was in 1946 or later on when I was in jets," said Taddeo.
That includes the flights they would make for fun. "I'd hear things about how they flew loops around the Golden Gate Bridge, which of course would get them arrested, and how they used to chase cars down the Oakland highway. They still had fun despite the seriousness of the job," said Ed Taddeo.
Even though the crowd may see perfection while watching the jets flip and cross one another, Taddeo's eyes take a closer look. "Five minutes ago he was saying,'Well, the guy on the left was a little off, now they look good.' It's just the way he is," said Ed Taddeo of his father.
Taddeo, 93, says it seems like just yesterday he was the one doing tricks in the air. "I'm envious of not being able to do it, but in my mind I can do it," said Taddeo.
The Taddeo family says the trip was made possible because of Tammy Allen, owner of Allen Unique Autos, who offered to fly Taddeo from California straight to Grand Junction.