Captain Carroll LeFon, Neptunus Lex, Killed in Crash
Carrol LeFon, better known on the Internet as Neptunus Lex, one of the original milbloggers, has been killed in a fighter jet crash.
From the USNI blog‘s eulogy (“A Remarkable Man Has Stepped Into the Clearing; Captain Carroll LeFon USN (Ret.) 1960-2012“):
As the sun’s rays broke over the top of the eastern hills this morning, the military blogging community is coming to grips with the loss of a truly remarkable man. Retired Navy Captain Carroll LeFon, who was known to thousands by his “nom de blog” of Neptunus Lex, died when his Israeli-built F-21 Kfir single-seat fighter aircraft crashed at NAS Fallon at around 0915 yesterday morning.
The challenge in writing about such a man is that my command of the language to do justice to him is insufficient for the task, yet his mastery of words gave vivid understanding on most everything he chose to chronicle. “Lex” was one of the first and perhaps the best of those military bloggers (milbloggers), with a large and faithful readership that included his former Navy shipmates, other military types (including myself), former military types, and civilians of all descriptions. That readership came and stayed because Lex was far more than a milblogger who wrote about all things military. He had a wonderful gift with the written word, speaking to his readers as if engaged in a conversation at a back table of a favorite pub. His eloquence about military issues, his witty and often brilliant commentary on things political and social, always provided thought provoking reading. His commenters, even while disagreeing and adding rich commentary of their own, respected each other and revered their host.
Lex chose to re-grip the flight controls to serve again the Navy he loved, by doing what had been his passion (outside of his wife and children) for his far too brief time this side of heaven. He helped to train Navy pilots to be better Navy pilots, and accepted the concomitant risks long after his time in uniform ended. The value of men such as he cannot be overestimated. His loss leaves a hole, a void, that never really is filled.
He had an impressive Navy career, retiring as a four-striper and having served as XO at TOPGUN. Here’s his bio from Military.com, where he wrote a handful of columns:
Carroll “Lex” LeFon is an retired US Navy captain, incipient crank, rapidly aging curmudgeon and used-to-be naval aviator with over 4000 hours in fighter aircraft, predominantly the FA-18C Hornet. His operational experience includes seven carrier deployments, including several in support of Operation Southern Watch, enforcing UN Sanctions in the Southern No-Fly Zone over Iraq. After commanding an operational FA-18 squadron he reported to the USS Constellation in 2001, later serving as her Operations Officer in the Arabian Gulf during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Shore tours include tours as instructor pilot in basic jet training, as an adversary instructor and as the Executive Officer of the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN).
He retired from the Navy in 2008, after serving as Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations and Training on two flag staffs. He is a 1982 graduate from the US Naval Academy with a BS in Political Science, with a Master of Science in Systems Engineering Management from the US Naval Postgraduate School.
He leaves behind a wife, two daughters, and a son. The son, naturally, is now a naval aviator.