How the Blue Angels Got Their Name

Photo by 904 Happy Hour

Author: Gracie Phillips, Downtown Vision Marketing and Events Intern

If you are from Jacksonville or have spent time visiting, then you probably know who The Blue Angels are. This group of pilots has been entertaining the people of Jacksonville since 1946, so it is safe to say that they are pretty iconic around here. Many people have fond memories of cooking out with friends and family while watching this extraordinary flight team put on a show in the sky. They just recently flew over Downtown Jax to honor the healthcare workers in our city and are still putting on shows to this day. We all watch their performances each year, but have you ever wondered, “Why are they called the Blue Angels?”

Once World War II was over, a flight team was put together in an effort to keep people interested in Naval Aviation. The best of the best pilots were hand-selected and a year later they had their first show in Jacksonville at the Craig Field on June 15, 1946. They remained nameless for their first few shows as they could not agree on one. While they were getting ready to fly in New York, Lt. Maurice Wickendoll stumbled upon an ad for a famous hot spot in that city called the Blue Angel Nightclub. The flight team then flew their first show under the name of The Blue Angels in Omaha on July 19, 1946, and they have been famous ever since.


If you want to read more about the history of The Blue Angels check out The Jacksonville Historical Society’s article.

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