ATAC Mourns the Loss of Capt Carroll "Lex" LeFon (RET) 1960-2012

Pilot Killed in F-21 Mishap Supporting US Navy "TOPGUN" School in Fallon, Nevada

Mar 12, 2012, 07:00 ET from ATAC

NEWPORT NEWS, Va., March 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Carroll "Lex" LeFon, ATAC F-21 pilot, retired Naval Aviator, TOPGUN Graduate and prominent military blogger known as Neptunus Lex, was killed in a plane crash on the morning of March 6th, 2012 when his F-21 Kfir crashed at Naval Air Station Fallon, Nevada; he was 51.  Although the investigation is on-going, there is no question that erratic and severe un-forecast weather changes contributed greatly to the accident.

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"ATAC, the Navy and Lex's family have lost a skilled pilot a great husband and father, and a great friend; words cannot describe the loss our company and employees feel with Lex's departure," CEO Jeff Parker said.  "That said, our loss pales in comparison to our commitment to the family, their well-being, and ensuring we honor Lex's memory and accomplishments fully." 

Lex was originally from Alexandria, Va. And was a 1982 graduate of the Naval Academy.  "To this day, I cannot see the academy's chapel dome in the distance without checking my watch to see if I am late, and wondering whether I am going to be in trouble," he once wrote.  After earning his wings in 1987 he reported to his first fleet squadron, Strike Fighter Squadron 25. "Here is where I discovered that despite being the only male child in my family, I had twelve brothers," he once said.

Other tours followed, as an instructor at Navy Fighter Weapons School, better known as TOPGUN, ("one word, all CAPS", Lex would say).  He commanded Strike Fighter Squadron 94 from June 2001 to July 2003.  Along the way he deployed seven times, serving on the carriers Constellation, Independence and Carl Vinson. He earned two Legions of Merit, two Meritorious Service Medals, the Air Medal (Strike/Flight Award), two Navy/ Marine Corps Commendation Medals and the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

ATAC wants to thank those many, many people and entities that have expressed their condolences to the Company and to the family.  "I am humbled by the outreach and support from the Navy," said Parker.  ATAC senior management was invited and attended the latest TOPGUN graduation ceremony where toasts were given honoring Lex from the Instructors and Commander of TOPGUN, and the Commander of Naval Air Station, Fallon.

Carroll LeFon leaves behind his wife and three children, including a son who flies MH-60S Seahawks.  Services will be held on March 27th at 1:00pm at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, CA. 

To view the memorial page to Carroll "Lex" LeFon, please visit