1 9 6 0 – 1 9 6 1 (USA)
39 x 30 minute episodes
Long before Top Gun, pilots swooshed across the screen on Blue Angels, a syndicated black and white series featuring stories about the aerial aces of the United States Navy four-man precision flying team.
The show starred Dennis Cross as Commander Arthur Richards (pictured at right), the head of the squadron which toured the country to give flight exhibitions.
Since the real Blue Angels spent most of their time flying, at one air show after another, considerable ingenuity was required to lend the series variety.
The producers managed to concoct all sorts of unlikely plots, such as having the pilots chase some smugglers on the spur of the moment, romance pretty bystanders, fly life-saving supplies to a dying woman, scare a juvenile delinquent into going straight (by giving him a wild plane ride) and even stop a holdup – much of this while they were off-duty.
Don Gordon co-starred as Lieutenant Hank Bertelli, Michael Galloway as Lieutenant Russ MacDonald, Morgan Jones as Commander Donovan, and Warner Jones as Captain Wilbur Scott.
For the precision flying scenes, films were used of the real Blue Angels tooling around in their Grumman F11Fs.
Blue Angels is perhaps most notable for featuring some early work of Burt Reynolds, who turned up in two episodes.
Cmdr. Arthur Richards
Capt. Wilbur Scott
Lt. Russ MacDonald
Lt. Hank Bertelli