Senate balks at promotion for Navy officer who shot down F-4

Capt. Timothy Dorsey


By Published: January 5, 2013

This story has been corrected

A Senate committee has refused to approve a promotion to admiral for a Navy officer who, as a young fighter pilot during a training mission, deliberately shot down an Air Force plane whose flier has suffered a life of pain from his forced ejection, The Washington Times reported.

The Senate Committee on Armed Services declined to vote on Capt. Timothy Dorsey’s nomination during the session of Congress that ended Jan. 3, the Times reported, so the nomination will return to the White House. President Barack Obama has the option to resubmit the nomination to the current Congress.

The Times quoted a source close to the committee who said the Navy did not tell Defense Secretary Leon Panetta about the 1987 incident before his office forwarded the nomination to the White House.

Dorsey intentionally fired a missile at an Air Force reconnaissance plane during a training exercise, nearly killing two aviators and destroying the aircraft. A Navy investigation said the shoot-down “raises substantial doubt as to [Dorsey’s] capacity for good, sound judgment,” and he was banned from flying.

The pilot, retired Air Force Col. Mike Ross, has undergone seven surgeries and now has chronic pain, the Times said. Ross told the Times: “Obviously, there was a mistake in the Navy’s records check before they brought somebody up for promotion with that kind of a mark on their record.”

Source: The Washington Times


The headline originally misidentified Ross' plane as an F-14.

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