Wednesday, March 06, 2013

The Saddest of Sad Days

It was one year ago today when one of the finest gentlemen I never met died, doing what he loved to do.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012


Words fail me.
March 7, 2012

I received some sad news earlier today that retired TOPGUN pilot US Navy Capt. Carroll LeFon, better known as Lex of the military blog Neptunus Lex, was killed Tuesday when a jet he was flying crashed at Naval Air Station Fallon in Nevada.
I didn’t have the privilege of knowing Carroll in person like many other bloggers have, but I did chat with him on occasion over e-mail throughout the years and as recently as last year when he won Best U.S. Military Veteran Blog.

He was also one of the first bloggers to appear here on when and I did a short feature on him back in 2006. 

When I asked him why he started blogging he told me, “I guess you could say I started blogging as a way of sharpening my writing skills. Anyone who`s been to see, or flown fighter aircraft  has stories to tell, and I was interested in getting some of mine out there as well, and seeing what interest there might be. It`s also a sort of on-line diary of thoughts, and reactions to the days events - some of those, looking back, get pretty stale in time - but in doing so you form a kind of community of interest. A fun hobby that lets you interact with other people.”

You can learn more about Carroll on his About page.

His facebook page is here

My prayers go out to the family and friends he left behind.

Here are posts online by other bloggers.

Susan Katz Keating

I will update this post later in the day with online tributes.
My prayers and condolences go out to Lex's family. The milblogging community has lost its best and brightest, the nation has lost a great patriot, and I've lost my blog-father.

RIP, Captain.  Thank you for all you did, for everyone.


  1. We're all united in that sense of loss today Buck. It is profound. To use Lex's own phrase, his loss has left a howling emptiness in the blogging community. We'll not see his like again I fear.

    1. We'll not see his like again I fear.

      I'm afraid you're right.

  2. I'm sorry that I did not get to know him better. Thanks Lex and his words, he will not be forgotten.

  3. There is an old saying that it's tough enough to find *A* needle in a haystack, let alone the sharpest needle in the haystack. With Lex I fear we lost the sharpest needle in that haystack--and the odds of finding another equally sharp AIN'T EXACTLY GREAT..

  4. And of course it wasn't just Lex, but also the unique community that he engendered.Buck, I think you and I both commented here last year that the group that met at Lex's was perhaps unique in all the blogosphere and perhaps never to be duplicated ever again. The Indians were right, you never put your foot in the same stream twice..

    1. Both of yer comments are on-point, Virgil... especially about the commentariat.

  5. LEX will not be forgotten

  6. His is missed. And VX is so right - the commentariat was so special at the Mothership. From so many diverse backgrounds yet we all treated each other with respect; demanded by Lex just by his presence. Amazing. Of course his ability to eviscerate the odd-troll was legendary and I for one never wanted to be on the receiving end.

    1. Yeah, his take-downs of various and sundry trolls were masterful. Best I'd ever seen... and SO polite, too.

  7. Final Flights are Final08 March, 2013 23:30

    Having read the accident report, I have seen this kind of thing before. It's always a tragedy when you look back with 20:20 vision, and it's hard to get past that: "what the hell was he thinking??" The kind of decision he made to go fly that day, was something we had to weigh more carefully in C-130's. The difference is we had multi-man crew and he only had himself to worry about.

    I've been on a crew when the Wing commander said "go fly" where peacetime rules prohibited it. In war, the Wing commander gets to decide when the weather matters more than the mission. LeFon's mission didn't matter, and he took off with no place to land. Rolled the dice, lost.

    In our case we had to drop the pallet bomb in Kuwait, and we could air refuel for two days if we had to, waiting for a place to land.

    Non-flyers don't know this, but there really is no take-off minimums. It's a landing minimum. In peacetime you can't take-off if there is no place to land in an emergency.

    If you don't have a parachute, you can't vote with your feet when the tank reads empty, or your ass is on fire - You die.
    No air refueling capability - you die.
    Point a gun to your head and pull the trigger - you die.

    "Death is not something to fear. For all we know it might be more exciting than life" - George Patton

    1. Do you have a link for the final accident report, Final? I read the preliminary but haven't seen the final.


Just be polite... that's all I ask.