Lt Charles Walker, Pilot Killed in F/A-18E Jet Crash

 In Military

The Navy pilot killed in Wednesday’s crash in “Star Wars Canyon” has been identified as Lt Charles Walker, 33. The Navy declared him dead on Thursday after his F/A-18E jet crashed into the side of a ravine in Death Valley.

Walker was a member of Strike Force 151, also known as the “Vigilantes,” which is based out of Naval Air Station Lemoore in California. The initial investigation determined that Walker did not eject. The jet slammed into the side of the ravine with “an impact reminiscent of a bomb.”

The Navy’s statement reads in part:

The NAS Lemoore aviation family is grieving the loss of one of our own,” said Capt. James Bates, Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Pacific. “Lt. Walker was an incredible naval aviator, husband and son. He was an integral member of the Vigilante family and his absence will be keenly felt on this flight line. Our aviators understand the risk associated with this profession and they knowingly accept it in service to our nation. The untimely loss of a fellow aviator and shipmate pains us all. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family and friends.”

The pilot was on a routine training mission in the area at the time of the crash. The cause of the crash is under investigation.


“Star Wars Canyon” is about 40 miles from the Navy’s largest landholding…Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake.

Lt Charles Walker

Walker was commissioned a Naval officer in December 2008 through the Navy ROTC program at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida, and he completed flight school in September 2009, according to his service records.

He joined Strike Fighter Squadron 151 in February 2018. He previously served tours with Strike Fighter Squadron 122 at NAS Lemoore, at the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center in Nevada and with Strike Fighter Squadron 195 in Iwakuni, Japan, where he was stationed from 2012 to 2015, his records show.


R.I.P., Sir.

Featured Photo of Lt Charles Z. Walker, US Navy


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Showing 2 comments
  • Henry Sanjuan

    High flight, touch the hand of God fly high! RIP

  • Shawn M.

    All of us know the risks, and we are willing to pay the price for America’s freedom. Rest in peace Lt. Walker. As long as the sounds of jet engines continue to echo through the canyons, we’ll always be thinking of you and your family’s sacrifice.

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