Dec. 27, 1939-Dec. 4, 2023

William Edward Newman was born Dec. 27, 1939, in Chicago, Illinois to parents William Newman and Florence Skorup.  William “Bill” passed away Dec. 4, 2023, in St. George, Utah. Bill grew up in Chicago, Illinois, and in his teenage years fell in love with the Navy and airplanes. He wanted to and became a Navy pilot. Upon graduating from Leo High School, he attended and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy. Following the Academy, Bill served 35 years in the Navy in various positions of responsibility that took him all over the world. His fondest Navy memories were of his years as the Blue Angel leader in 1978-79.  (Bill’s career data is detailed later in this obituary.)

Bill was a competitive swimmer throughout high school, college (named an All-American swimmer) and beyond. He enjoyed camping and scuba diving with his children while in their youth, and as an adult, enjoyed bike riding, carpentry, shooting, competitive swimming, rowing and remote-control aircraft flying. Most of all, Bill loved flying Navy jets.

In 1968 he married Judy Morgan, had four children, lived in various places and divorced in 1995. In 1997, he met and then married in June 2000, the love of his life, Susan Kingsbury. They traveled extensively, shared activities, attended conferences in the U.S. and abroad, attended numerous Navy functions, had a full and active social life with a wide swath of friends, creating beautiful memories.

Bill was a member and/or officer of the Golden Eagles, British Empire Test Pilot School, Society of Experimental Test Pilots, Navy Blue Angels Alumni, U.S. Naval Academy Alumni, Ancient Mariners Rowing Club, D.C. Masters Swim Team (setting new U.S. national swim records), The Forum, (a Seattle men’s club), Veteran of Foreign Wars and lastly, an Associate Member of the Marine League Attachment, No. 1270.

Bill is survived by his wife, Susan Kingsbury Newman of Ivins, Utah; his four children: Elizabeth Newman, Joseph Newman, David Newman, Matt Newman; two grandchildren: Tanner and Mason Bilby, all of Ventura, California; brother, Robert Newman of Vernon Hills, Illinois; and sister, Barbara Pigott of Sun City West, Arizona.

A military burial service is planned on Friday, Dec. 15, at 1 p.m. at Tonaquint Cemetery located at 1777 South Dixie Drive, St. George.  Visitations will be on Thursday, Dec. 14, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. and again on Dec. 15, from 10 a.m.-noon at Metcalf Mortuary at 228 West St. George Blvd., St. George, 435.673.4221. Due to the Christmas season and guest travel plans, the Celebration of Life will likely occur within the first four months of 2024, details TBD.

In lieu of flowers, the family would prefer donations be sent to the Navy Marine Relief Society.

Thank you all for your love and support for Bill and all his family members throughout the years.

Bill Newman’s career

Bill graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with the class of 1961. Designated a naval aviator in 1962, his first operational assignment was with Attack Squadron-22 flying the A-4 Skyhawk. His first two deployments on the carrier Midway saw combat action in Vietnam. Bill’s aircraft was hit by enemy ground fire several times, shot down and subsequently rescued on a not-too-unlucky Friday the 13th.

Following operational tours, included positions of increased responsibility in A-4, A-7 and Corsair II squadrons leading to command of Attack Squadron-195 flying the A-7.

Next, Bill served as commanding officer and flight leader of the Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron, The Blue Angels.  During 1978 and 1979, he led the team in more than 200 air show demonstrations throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Their demanding training and air show schedule required the team to be away from their Pensacola home base nearly 300 days per year.

He went on to command the nine squadrons comprising the air wing of the carrier Constellation and was commanding officer of the combat stores ship USS White Plains, replenishing battle group ships while underway in the Indian Ocean.

During these 24 years of operational assignments, Bill made numerous deployments to the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans and Mediterranean Sea. His 5,200 flight hours were logged in more than 50 types of U.S. and British aircraft.

No stranger to the aerospace industry, 15 years of Bill’s Navy career were associated with the acquisition of new naval aviation weapon systems. As a young lieutenant, he attended the year-long British Empire Test Pilots’ School at Farnborough, England, and then served as a Navy test pilot for two more years. As a more senior officer, Bill traded cockpits for Washington-bound desks in the Pentagon and Naval Air Systems Command. He was the program manager for the Navy’s defense suppression missile programs, chiefly the High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM), a multi-billion dollar acquisition program for the Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and selected foreign nations.

Selected to the rank of rear admiral, Bill then commanded the Naval Air Warfare Center, Weapons Division, involving the research, development, and testing of Navy aircraft and weapon systems. This 12,000-person command was centered between China Lake in California’s high desert and Point Mugu on the coast near Ventura, California. Mugu conducted aircraft and guided missile tests in 36,000 square miles of airspace off the California coast and 17,000 square miles of airspace above the eastern California deserts.

Bill completed his 35-year Navy career in the Washington headquarters of Naval Air Systems Command as the Assistant Commander for Research and Engineering, with engineering oversight responsibilities for all operational Navy aircraft and air weaponry, as well as those in development.

Dates of Active Duty: 7 June 1961 – 1 July 1996

Designation of Aviator Date: 10 October 1962.

Total Flight Hours: 5,200

Duty Assignment Chronology

1961-62 Navy Flight Training.

1963-65 VA-22 (A4C).

1966 Empire Test Pilots’ School, England.

1967-68 Naval Air Test Center (Weapons System single command Test).

1969-71 VA-83 (A-4C/A-7E)

1971-72 Air Command & Staff College, MaxwellAFB, AL

1972-73 Flag Secretary/Aide to COMCARDIV 4.

1975-75 VA-122 (A-7E/RAG Operations Officer).

1975-77 VA-195, CO/XO.

1978-79 Blue Angels (CO/Flight Leader).

1980-81 Carrier Air Wing 9 (CAG).

1981-84 OPNAV Staff (OP-507), Pentagon.

1984-85 USS White Plains, Commanding Officer.

1986-89 NAVAIRSYSCOM (Air-05B/PMA-242/PDA-10).

1990-93 Pacific Missile Test Center/Naval Air Warfare Center

1994-96 NAVAIRSYSCOM Headquarters

Combat Tours:

Vietnam: USS Midway/CVW-2 – 1965


CO, VA-195, 1976-1977

Blue Angels, 1977-1978

CVW-9, 1980-1981

USS White Plains (AFS-4), 1984-1985

PMA-242 (HARM), NAVAIRSYSCOM, 1987-1988

Pacific Missile Test Center, 1990-1991

Naval Air Warfare Center (Weapons), 1992-1993

Summary of significant career events

Military Awards:

Distinguished Service Medal, shot down and rescued on initial “Ironhand” missions.

2 Legion of Merit Distinguished Flying Cross Meritorious Service Medal

3 Navy Commendation Medals with combat “V”

Navy Achievement Medal

Following his naval career, Bill held executive management positions with the Boeing Company for several years, being primarily a “change agent” to optimize the newly merged company’s 850 nation-wide laboratories, test facilities and related test processes.

Arrangements are under the care of Metcalf Mortuary, (435) 673-4221. Visit the Metcalf Mortuary website for condolences, complete obituary and funeral listings.