BRODENGEYER, James Robert (1947-1984) was a lieutenant commander and aviation safety officer for the United States Navy. He was born on May 4, 1947 and was from Moundsville, West Virginia. On June 18, 1984, he died when his jet crashed into Santa Catalina Island. He was 37 years old. Brodengeyer is burined in Arlington National Cemetery, Washington, D.C.
Deputy Jimmie Richard Henry was the Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff assigned to Avalon Station. He responded to the wreck of the U.S. Navy F-18 above White's Landing. He inhaled smoke from the burning aircraft without breathing apparatus. The smoke consisted of burning graphite and other unknown classified composite materials. Due to his inhalation exposure, his health gradually deteriorated. He developed pneumonia, pulmonary fibrosis, suffered chronic lung disease and had a lung transplant. Due to his continuing medical problems he was forced to retire on October 25, 1990 and on May 12, 1995 he died at UCLA Medical Center, five months following a lung transplant. Two other deputies at the crash site also developed documented long term respiratory problems. Although they have not succumbed to their exposure, both were granted worker's compensation awards and given lifetime medical coverage as to their lungs.
Departmental reports, the Coroners report, medical records, and affidavits from fellow deputies all support, and make a rather strong case, that Deputy Henry's single exposure to toxic carcinogens on June 19, 1984, while on duty, was the proximate cause of his untimely death on May 12, 1995. He was 49 years old. He was survived by his wife Susan (since remarried) and his son David.
In the News~
June 19, 1984 [LAT]: “Pilot's body found. Avalon, Calif. — Officials today recovered the body of a pilot who crashed his Navy FA-18 fighter into a 600-foot bluff on Santa Catalina Island Monday night. The FA-18 Hornet strike fighter, based at the Lemoore Naval Air Station, was practicing carrier approaches at the Naval Air strip on San Clemente Island when it disappeared from Los Angeles radar screens at 10:54 p.m. according to Navy spokesman Dennis McGrath. It was last spotted on the radar screens about 2 miles from the crash site, about 26 miles off the coast of Los Angeles, he said. "The body of the pilot was near the wreckage," McGrath said. The pilot's name has not been released pending notification of his relatives. The weather was reported overcast with a 1,000 to 1,200 foot ceiling when the accident occurred, McGrath said. The crash touched off a 50-acre brush fire. Inspector Ted Urton of the Los Angeles County Fire Department said the fire was in an inaccessible canyon 1 mile inland from White's Landing and less than a mile east of Blackjack Peak. Urton said the brush fire burned itself out after firemen were ordered to stay away from the crash site by Navy officials. McGrath said the plane was not carrying live ammunition, but there was an explosive charge under the ejector seat and "there were other pyrotechnics on board." Cause of the crash is under investigation.”