Coronado’s “Avenue Of The Heroes” ... Lt. Mark Williamson, USN - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Coronado City News

Coronado’s “Avenue Of The Heroes” ... Lt. Mark Williamson, USN

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Posted: Friday, June 28, 2019 3:51 pm

In 1986, Lt. Mark Williamson was a young man, committed to his family and country. He was a man who loved life but he was unfortunately removed from this earth too early. On a sunny September morning, he and CDR Stephen Carro, both pilots assigned to the NAS North Island Rework Facility, were delivering an F14 Tomcat aircraft back to Naval Air Station Miramar’s unit VF-51 when something went terribly wrong. The aircraft lost power and nosed down into the sea just off Pt. Loma where both pilots ejected. CDR Carro sustained injuries but survived. Williamson was not as lucky and he sank to the ocean’s bottom where he was found shortly after by Navy divers.

Born in Logan, Utah, to Lt. Col. Mahlon and Una Williamson, Mark Williamson was the oldest of their five children. He spent most of his youth in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. Williamson’s father was a highly decorated Vietnam War pilot who flew Air Force F-100 Super Sabre and F-4 Phantom II and earned two Distinguished Flying Crosses.

Williamson was an avid outdoorsman. Active in scouting and scholarly in school, he gained recognition by the National Honor Society, and while living and attending high school at Clark Air Base in the Philippines, he was awarded All Pacific Champion in wrestling. Following high school, he attended Montana State University where he majored in biology, earning a Bachelor of Science degree. He served a spell as a forest ranger.

Williamson’s love of the military, the inspiration he drew from his father’s military service, and his desire to follow in his father’s footsteps is why he joined the Air Force Reserves in 1976, and following that, the U.S. Navy in 1978. He attending Naval OCS and following that up with flight school in Pensacola. Having earned his wings, Williamson was assigned to VF-51, then deployed on the USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63), and Naval Air Station (NAS) Miramar and then transitioned to NAS North Island, Fleet Rework Facility until his untimely death.

As an adult, Williamson continued to stay active in sports and outdoor activities, enjoying soccer, hiking, biking and camping. He also loved writing, penning several short stories and frequently relating his adventures to his parents and sisters.

Williamson was always seeking knowledge, and we may never know what his talents may have brought to the world, but we will always know and appreciate the love he held for his family and the service he gave to his country.

Coincidentally, the movie “Top Gun” was released the year that Mark lost his life featuring the same type of aircraft. Williamson happened to have been one of the F-14 pilots appearing in “Top Gun.”

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