CAPT Chauncy Frank Webb, USNR (Ret.)
ENS Webb became a Naval Aviator on January 28, 1971 at HT-8, NAS Ellyson Field, Pensacola, Florida. ENS Webb was Navy Helicopter Pilot Designator # R-11380.
Chauncey Webb Obituary CHAUNCEY FRANK WEBB October 22, 1946 – July 21, 2023 Chauncey Frank Webb peacefully slipped into Heaven while napping July 21, 2023 at his home in Marana, Arizona. “Frankie” (as he was known growing up) Webb was born in Bay City, Texas, October 22, 1946, the youngest son of Randol and Loyce Webb. He was blessed by all that is good in having a small-town upbringing; tight-knit community, hardworking and self-sufficient folks, commitment to family, faith and country. He spent summers on his uncle’s farm, fished and caught shrimp with his Dad … won a pony at 7 at the local movie theater drawing … He maintained close ties with his extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins that shaped his childhood and the man he would become. The love of aviation sparked early for Chauncey. He would often get distracted and scolded as he looked out of his 2nd grade class window at the airplanes taking off from the local airport. He would hang out at the airport and offer to wash airplanes for a ride … He was hooked. Add to that, his big brother, Randol Jr., enlisted in the Air Force and would fly A-1 Skyraiders in the early years of the Vietnam War. Randol became his aviation mentor and hero. Chauncey graduated from Bay City High School, class of 1965, and rarely missed a reunion. He attended college at Sam Houston State in Huntsville, Texas where he graduated in 1969. While a senior at Sam Houston, he came across a couple of Navy recruiters next to a poster of two F-4s over a carrier. They encouraged him to come to Dallas with them for physical and aptitude tests, so he cancelled his Saturday night date and off he went. After testing, the recruiters congratulated him on becoming a Navy Flight Officer, to which he replied, “Does the Flight Officer sit in the front or back of the plane?” The back he was told. “Well, that’s not going to work, fellas. I’m going to be a pilot.” He was told he failed the eye exam. The eye doctor pulled him aside and told him to practice crossing his eyes by putting his index finger on his nose 10 minutes twice a day for a month. Now with stronger eye muscles, he returned, passed the eye exam and off he went to Naval Aviation Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Florida. Already deeply committed to an aviation career, Chauncey arrived at AOCS with a private pilot’s license. AOCS culminated in his commissioning as Ensign in the United States Navy. Following successful months of training, he earned the coveted wings of gold as a Naval Aviator and after promotion to Lieutenant Junior Grade (LTJG), he was ordered to his first operational squadron. He reported in October, 1971 to the all-volunteer Helicopter Combat Support Squadron 7 (HC-7), known as Sea Devils, home ported at NAS Imperial Beach, California (near San Diego). The mission of the renowned unit was Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR). Operating exclusively overland and in the waters of North Vietnam, he selflessly participated in search and rescue missions mitigating capture of downed aviators. During his subsequent three deployments flying one of 12 uniquely configured Sikorsky HH-3 helicopters from naval vessels in the Gulf of Tonkin, he rose to be designated CSAR Helicopter Aircraft Commander (HAC) leading to his own crew missions. Decommissioned after the Vietnam conflict, HC-7 remains the most highly decorated naval squadron in the Vietnam era. After serving almost 3 years as a Sea Devil, Chauncey departed HC-7 in August, 1974 with orders to Training Squadron 2 (VT-2), NAS Whiting Field, Florida as a Lieutenant (LT) to perform as a flight instructor. As a Flight Instructor and Unit Leader at Whiting Field, Chauncey was now training pilot candidates in the North American T-28; an aircraft with a deep-throated radial engine that anchored a particularly special place in his pilot heart. After 2 1/2 years at the Training Command, his new orders took him to NAS North Island, Coronado in June, 1977 where he was attached to HS-12, an antisubmarine warfare (ASW) unit flying the Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King as an Aircraft Commander. His last deployment of his active-duty naval career, took him to the Mediterranean aboard the aircraft carrier USS America (CV-66) where his squadron served as plane guard, search-and-rescue, transport, medevac as well as ASW missions. Chauncey left his active-duty navy life to pursue a civilian aviation career in late 1979. Newly married, he was ready to settle into a rhythm that didn’t require long deployments and moves every couple of years. Ironically, his first six years out of the Navy would lead to many employment adventures trying to land that commercial airline job (never to be). From aircraft sales and charter work in Northern California, to a stint as a trainer in the Sikorsky76 which led to an S-76 job in Costa del Sol Spain flying a wealthy sheikh between his villas and the Malaga Airport. Realizing this was not a career enhancing job, he returned to Northern California where he flew a Bell-222 for Warner Communications (Atari Division). Warner brought him to the east coast where he joined the corporate flight department flying company executives in the Sikorsky S-76. When it looked like a lay-off was imminent, he was able to land an S76 job with American Express. His 20-year career at American Express proved to be the professional destination he had hoped for flying both the S-76 Helicopter and transitioning into their corporate fleet of jets, the Gulfstream IV and V. Additionally, during this time, Chauncey served in the U.S. Naval Reserves as an SH-3 helicopter pilot in three Anti-Submarine squadrons, holding the position of Executive Officer in his last squadron and retiring in January, 1994 with the rank of Captain. While Chauncey was pursuing his professional aviation career, he maintained his passion for general aviation. From Piper Cubs, to every model of single-engine Cessna, a variety of multi-engine aircraft, float planes, warbirds, Stearmans and Wacos. One of his closest Navy buddies put it this way: “if a brick had wings, Chauncey could fly it.” Wherever a move would take him, one of the first things he did was establish relationships at the closest General Aviation airport. He was a Certified Flight Instructor in several categories, an FAA Examiner and Check Airman and held an Aircraft & Powerplants mechanic certificate (A&P). Maybe his proudest moment occurred in July of 2021, when the Cessna 195 he rebuilt from literally boxes of parts won Outstanding Class D in the Classic Aircraft Division at AirVenture Oshkosh 2021. This was an almost 20-year labor of love and a testament to Chauncey’s amazing skill sets; not only as an outstanding aviator, but also a talented and skilled aircraft restorer. To flesh out Chauncey’s passions further, his understanding of lift, wind, an air foil, weather and navigation from aviation translated into a love of sailing and all boats for that matter. He loved the smell of the salt air, the sun on the water, rolling with the swells and a good beer. He captained several vessels on bare-boat charters in the British Virgin Islands. Upon leaving American Express in 2003 at an age nearing retirement, Chauncey got a new burst of enthusiasm and continued actively pursuing corporate aviation opportunities. While working for an aircraft management company, Chauncey settled into maybe his best flying job; the job that would last until his last day. He was still flying a Falcon 900 for a remarkable and kind principal of a real estate investment company. Not bad for a silver-haired, almost 77 year old who literally was born to fly. Now he has the best job of all … Teach the angels to fly Chaunce; put out your hand and touch the face of God. Chauncey is survived by his wife of 44 years, Jane, who will be forever grateful for the ride of a lifetime that he gave her, his beloved daughter, Genny Drash, his brother, Randol, and sister, Nancy O’Massey, son-inlaw, Wayne Drash, grandchildren, Emma and Billy Drash. In addition, many extended family members and long-standing friends need to be acknowledged for the love and deep affection they hold for Chauncey. For those who would like to honor Chauncey, a donation to the EAA Aviation Foundation would be a meaningful testament to his memory. At the eaa.org website, find the give link under the Support EAA header. Please designate that the contribution goes to the Young Eagles. Chauncey so wanted to inspire the love of aviation in our younger generations. A Celebration of Life will be held October 3, 2023 at Cayton’s Dove Mountain, 6501 W. Boulder Bridge Pass, Marana, AZ at 11:00am. Please RSVP to email@example.com if you are planning to attend.