|Raleigh Ernest Rhodes|
June 26, 1918|
|Died||November 26, 2007
San Jose, California
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Navy|
|Years of service||1941-1961|
|Battles/wars||World War II
|Awards||Purple Heart (2)|
|Other work||Prisoner of war|
Raleigh Ernest Rhodes (June 26, 1918 – November 26, 2007), who often went by the nickname of Raleigh "Dusty" Rhodes, was an American World War II combat fighter pilot and the third leader of the Blue Angels flight team.
Rhodes was a fighter pilot based on board the USS Enterprise (CV-6) aircraft carrier during World War II. He was shot down and captured by Japanese forces during the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands in October 1942 in the Solomon Islands.
Rhodes joined the Blue Angels precision flying team in 1947 after his recovery, and soon after became the flight leader. Rhodes helped the Blue Angels perfect the diamond barrel roll, a complicated aerial maneuver in which four Blue Angels jets perform a loop in a tight diamond formation before becoming inverted at the top of the formation. The Blue Angels became extremely popular with the public.
Rhodes returned to an active combat role with the U.S. Navy. He flew fighter plane missions from an aircraft carrier during the Korean War. Following the Korean War, Rhodes was stationed at several naval air stations, including the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, Monterey and the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.
- Los Angeles Times obituary, December 7, 2007.
- "Raleigh 'Dusty' Rhodes, 1918 - 2007: Combat pilot in two wars led Blue Angels [Obituary]". Los Angeles Times. December 7, 2007. Archived from the original on 2008-01-11. Retrieved 2007-12-13.
- "Dusty Rhodes". Blue Angels.org. Archived from the original on 2007-08-22. Retrieved 2007-12-15.
- Armstrong, Jim (2006). From POW to Blue Angel: The Story of Commander Dusty Rhodes. University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 0-8061-3764-9. Retrieved 2007-12-15.