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Blue Angels Memorial Project

About the Project

Since the squadron's inception in 1946, 28 of the United States Navy's Blue Angels have lost their lives in the line of duty.  Currently, there is no permanent Memorial dedicated to paying tribute to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.  


With your financial support, we can change that.

For the past 50 years, the Blue Angels have called El Centro their Winter Training Home, and for as long as the Blues have been coming to El Centro, the Navy League's Imperial Valley Council has been doing their part to support the squadron. 

The Concept

In 2012, Sailors stationed at Naval Air Facility El Centro, California volunteered their time to create the Rainforest Art Center at nearby Seeley School. While working on the Center, Naval Air Facility El Centro's Operations Officer, Commander Karl Garcia, and Command Master Chief Ted Gallinat became aware of the history of the Rainforest artists and their international portfolio. They contacted the Rainforest Art Project's Director, Dan Evers, to explore the possibility of working with professional artists, Seeley School students, and the NAF El Centro community to create a permanent memorial to these fallen Blue Angels.

The Design

The original concept sketch was drawn by Master Chief Ted Gallinat while he was serving as NAF El Centro’s Command Master Chief.  The design was developed by the design team of the Rainforest Art Project into the “Missing Angel” memorial. 


The classic obelisk shape is created in stainless steel, with a richly contrasting black granite base. Within the polished steel framework is a swirling blue sky created in translucent glass mosaic, which is mounted on clear tempered glass. Within the mosaic sky, the jets, sculpted in steel, are honoring their fallen brother with the Missing Man formation. Their contrails show their ascending path encircling the memorial.


On the front of the memorial, above the inscriptions is the “Missing Angel”.  Directly above him is the prism-cut clear glass, pyramid shaped peak of the memorial, which points directly to the sky and symbolizes his entry into the celestial realm. By day the mosaic, polished metal and black granite will provide beautiful contrasts of reflective color and texture, while by night, the entire monument will be softly lit from the inside, revealing the inspiring silhouette of the Missing man formation surrounded by a deep blue mosaic sky. 

 The memorial will be constructed in Blue Angels Park at NAF El Centro.

Project Sponsors

Navy League of the U.S.. Imperial Valley Council

The Imperial Valley Council was chartered by the Navy League national organization on February 12, 1949 to serve all Imperial County communities.


The Council adopted NAF El Centro in 1949, and adopted the Blue Angels in 1967, and is the lead organization for this memorial project.  


The council also proudly sponsors Naval Air Facility El Centro, Strike Fighter Wing VFA-122, Marine Attack Squadron VMA-214 "Blacksheep", USS Fitzgerald DDG-62, U.S. Coast Guard Cutter PETREL (WPB 87350), Strike Fighter Wing Pacific Maintenance Unit (Detachment El Centro), Navy Munitions Command CONUS West Division (Detachment El Centro), Naval Branch Medical Clinic (NAF El Centro), and the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps' Desert Eagle Squadron and Escondido Battallion and Training Ship Kit Carson.

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The Rainforest Art Project

The mission of The Rainforest Art Project is to provide learning and healing art experiences that promote individuality, creativity and self-worth while enhancing our communities and raising awareness about the importance of conservation of our natural resources. 

The goals of The Rainforest Art Project are to inspire students through multicultural, nature-based art programs that build creative confidence and self-esteem while teaching lifelong skills and providing an opportunity to create permanent public art installations and to establish a continuous arts “culture” within the schools. The Rainforest Art Project works in many different ways to inspire students to innovate in their everyday lives and into their futures.


To achieve the goals and follow it’s mission, The Rainforest Art Project has developed a new model for art education. The Rainforest Art Project works with schools, communities and hospitals creating specialized art programs that integrate the Common Core State Standards in the fields History, Social Studies and Language Arts, which can also easily be combined with current Science and Math lessons.

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Give Now

Our goal is to raise the funds necessary to commission a suitable and permanent  memorial to honor these Blue Angels. 

The cost to construct the memorial is estimated at $175,000.


Your donations are greatly appreciated.

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