We are deeply saddened by the loss of Dale “SNORT” Snodgrass. I love this man, he is the reason I make custom watches and the reason I’m on this path, he was there for my first military event, and helped me develop SwissPL. Snort is an inspiration, a friend and a brother. I’ll miss you. 🥃🥃🥃
July 25, 2021
Legendary F-14 Tomcat pilot & renowned Air Show performer.
“SwissPL is breaking new ground in the world of fine Swiss watches by providing custom individualized timepieces. My personally designed SwissPL watch glistens with Naval Aviator Wings and a head-on image of an F-14 Tomcat plane. After 30 plus years and over 12,000 hours of climbing into high performance jet fighters, I finally have a one-of-a-kind elegant timepiece that reflects and captures my passion and profession. Classic elegance, that is truly unique to you, is what makes SwissPL stand out.”
– Captain Dale “Snort” Snodgrass, USN (Ret)
“PS… It also hacks 7 G’s on a daily basis and catches waves when the surfs up!!!”
CAPTAIN SNODGRASS’ BIOGRAPHY:
Born in 1949 and the son of a Test Pilot, Dale Snodgrass grew up in Eastern Long Island NY. He attended the University of Minnesota on a NROTC Scholarship, was as a member of the Varsity Swim Team, graduating in 1972 with a BS in Biology. Receiving a regular Commission, Ensign Snodgrass entered Naval Flight Training in September 1972. After 26 years of decorated Naval Service, Captain Snodgrass retired in June 1999.
With over 4900 flight hours and 1200 plus carrier landings in the famed Grumman F14 Tomcat, Snort is the most experienced Tomcat pilot in the world and a highly decorated combat veteran. At the end of Desert Storm, then Commander Snodgrass was promoted to Navy Captain and was selected to command all Tomcats in the US Navy.
CAPT Snodgrass joins a very small select group of pilots that are allowed to fly with active duty modern fighters at air shows throughout North America and Europe. In 2011 Snort will be the only pilot approved to fly in both the Air Force Heritage Flight Program and the Navy Legacy Flight Program.
A LIVING NATIONAL TREASURE:
“Captain Dale Snodgrass, (better known by his call-sign: “Snort”), is a living national treasure and among the greatest fighter pilots of our times. I’ve flown with Snort, watched him teach and groom generations of fighter pilots, and the way Snort is able to articulate those skills to others is like no one I’ve ever seen. There aren’t many people on this earth that I hold in higher regard than Captain Dale “Snort” Snodgrass.”
~ Admiral Jay Johnson
(26th Chief of Naval Operations and member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Presidents Clinton and Bush).
US Navy highlights include:
One of the first two Navy Flight School Graduates to be selected for F-14 Tomcat training.
First non fleet experienced pilot to Carrier qualify in the F-14 Tomcat, both day and night.
12 operational Fighter Squadron/Wing tours.
Navy Fighter Weapons School Graduate and Instructor (TOPGUN).
Selected as the Navy’s Fighter Pilot of the Year in 1985.
Selected by Grumman Aerospace as “TOPCAT OF THE YEAR” (best F14 Pilot in 1986).
12 Operational Fighter Squadron / Wing tours.
Command of Fighter Squadron 33 during Desert Storm.
Led 34 combat missions in Desert Storm as overall Strike or Fighter Lead.
Wing Commander for all of the Navy’s F-14 Squadrons (14), totaling over 300 aircraft and 5,000 personal from 1994 – 1997.
Highest time F-14 Pilot, with 4,900 hours in the Tomcat.
7,800 hours in Fighters including 1,287 Carrier Arrested Landings.
Tomcat Flight Demonstration Pilot 1985 – 1997.
Military Decorations include:
Legion of Merit (3) for superior performance in positions of great responsibility.
Bronze Star (1) for Leadership and (1) for Valor during Desert Storm.
Meritorious Service Medal (2) for exceptional service in the position of Senior Leadership.
Air Medal (2) for Valor during Desert Storm, (1) Strike.
Navy Commendation Medal (3).
Various Service and Campaign Ribbons and Award.
Civilian Aviation and Air-show highlights include:
Volunteer instructor for the Kenya Wildlife Service Pilots in Kenya
bush 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006.
Over 12,500 total hours which includes 7,800 Navy Fighter hours
and 2,500 hours in Vintage Fighters (Warbirds).
Just exceeded over 1,000 hours in F-86 Sabre.
Surface Solo and Formation Aerobatic qualified in:
1. F-86 Sabre
2. Mig 15 Fagot
3. Mig 17 Fresco
4. L-39 Albatross
5. MS760 Paris Jet
6. P-51 Mustang
7. F4-U Corsair
8. P-40 Warhawk
9. T-6/SNJ Texan/Harvard
10. 8KCAB Super Decathlon
• Designated one of only nine civilian USAF Heritage Pilots.
• 25 Years of Air-show experience and over 1,000 low level performances in high performance aircraft.
• Single / Multi-Engine / Instrument Instructor (CFI).
• FAA designated Aerobatic Competency Evaluator and Designated Formation Check Pilot.
• 20 years providing Low Altitude (Air-show) Aerobatic Instruction.
images provided courtesy of Dale Snodgrass