Blue Angels commander, Atlanta native, relieved of duty

A former Blue Angels flight commander and Atlanta native was relieved of duty Friday due to an investigation of unspecified alleged misconduct during his time leading the Navy’s air demonstration squadron.

The investigation of Capt. Gregory McWherter stems from a complaint filed by one person involving allegations of an “inappropriate command climate,” Navy officials said in a statement.

The allegations refer specifically during McWherter’s time as commanding officer of the elite flight team from November 2008 to November 2010 and from May 2011 to November 2012. A Navy admiral began conducting the investigation into the allegations in March.

McWherter, who graduated from Atlanta’s Avondale High School, has been temporarily reassigned to Naval Air Forces in San Diego. He had been executive officer of Naval Base Coronado since November 2013.

When the Blue Angels visited Marietta’s Dobbins Air Reserve Base in four years ago, McWherter told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he was inspired to become a pilot after watching the movie “Top Gun.”

“That was it. I wanted to fly,” he said at the time.

McWherter, a 20-year Navy veteran, grew up in DeKalb County’s Avondale Estates. He graduated with honors from The Citadel military college in South Carolina in 1990 with a degree in civil engineering. Flight school followed at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Fla., and McWherter earned his Wings of Gold in 1992. He went on to graduate TOPGUN in 1995, became an instructor, completed two more Mediterranean Sea and Persian Gulf deployments. He commanded the “World Famous Golden Dragons,” a Navy fighter squadron stationed at the Naval Air Station in Lemoore, Calif., before taking command of the Blue Angels.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.