At the end of World War II, Chester W. Nimitz, then the Chief of Naval Operations, ordered the formation of a flight demonstration team to keep the public interested in naval aviation. The Blue Angels performed their first flight demonstration less than a year later in June 1946 at their home base, Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville, Florida. Flying the Grumman F6F Hellcat, they were led by Lt. Cmdr. Roy "Butch" Voris. Only two months later on August 25, 1946, the Blue Angels transitioned to the Grumman F8F Bearcat and one year later, the 1947 team, led by Lt. Cmdr. Robert Clarke, introduced the now famous "Diamond Formation."
Have the Blue Angels ever performed overseas? Yes. Throughout the years, the Blue Angels have had a limited opportunity to perform overseas. Prior to this season was in 1992 when the team completed a European tour performing in Sweden, Finland, Russia, Bulgaria, Italy, the United Kingdom, Romania, Spain and Germany.
Is it possible to schedule a tour of the Blues home base? Unfortunately no. Due to the hectic show and maintenance schedules, it is extremely difficult to schedule tours or photographic opportunities. People who desire to see the Blue Angels between shows are encouraged to view a practice demonstration at the National Museum of Naval Aviation at NAS Pensacola usually held most Tuesday and Wednesday mornings during the show season when the team is home. The practices weather permitting, and a tentative practice schedule may be viewed on the Blue Angels' website at www.blueangels.navy.mil