Obituary: Lt. James Habersham Swiggart, USN, 31
James Habersham Swiggart lost his life on December 17, 2015 in a private airplane crash near Tallahassee, FL; he was 31 years old. He is survived by his mother, Carolyn C. Swiggart and stepfather John A. Wayt, III of Greenwich, CT and Jamestown, RI; also his father and stepmother, William and Janet Swiggart, and their children, Abigail and William of North Andover, MA.
Jamie grew up in Darien, CT, where he became an Eagle Scout and served as an EMT with Post 53, a volunteer ambulance corps staffed by high school students. He sailed during his summers at Indian Harbor Yacht Club (Greenwich) and competed in many regattas. He graduated from Darien High School in 2002, and also The Hill School (Pottstown, PA) in 2003, for which he was given a USNA Foundation Scholarship. Sailing was his passion while at USNA, and he participated in the Newport-Bermuda Race (aboard LIVELY, winning its class in 2004), New York Yacht Club Race Weeks, Key West Race Weeks, Marblehead-Halifax Race, and many others as a member of the Varsity Offshore Sailing Team (VOST).
Jamie graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2007, where he majored in Political Science and minored in French, winning a gold medal for excellence in French. He selected aviation, and was designated a Naval Aviator (pilot) in January 2010. Jamie qualified on the E2-C “Hawkeye,” and was assigned to his operational squadron, VAW-117. He was deployed for nearly 9 months in 2013 aboard USS Nimitz (CVN-68), becoming a Trusty Shellback and one of the top 5 pilots of Carrier Air Wing 11 in the process. He accomplished over 1,700 flight hours and 160 carrier landings. At the time of his death, he was a jet pilot instructor with VT-7 at NAS Meridian with the rank of Lieutenant.
Jamie loved people, and his life was marked by service to his country and his community. He was a worthy descendant of founders and patriots, and was a member of the Society of Mayflower Descendants, Sons of the Revolution, and Sons of the American Revolution. He lived life to the fullest, and along the way had great times with good friends.
Sailing was always a big part of Jamie’s life, and he was a member of the New York Yacht Club and the Storm Trysail Club. Memorial donations in his name made to the Naval Academy Sailing Foundation, Inc., 58 Bennion Road, Mail Stop 23-J, Annapolis, MD 21402, would be greatly appreciated. Funeral services will be held January 29, 2016 at USNA.