Fallen Soldier: Nathan D. White

Nathan D. White
Dates: Died April 2, 2003
Hometown: Mesa, AZ
Branch of Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant
Player: Damon Vilkauskas

Navy Lieutenant Nathan D. White, 30, of Mesa, Ariz., was assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 195, based in Atsugi, Japan, and deployed with Carrier Air Wing 5 aboard the carrier Kitty Hawk. He was killed on April 2, 2003, when his F/A-18C Hornet fighter jet he was piloting was shot down.

Lt. White grew up in Abilene, Tex., where he was a 1991 graduate of Cooper High School. One of eight siblings, he graduated from Brigham Young University and spent two years as a Mormon missionary in Japan. While there, Lt. White became fluent in Japanese, fell in love with the culture and met his wife.

Aviation was Lt. White’s passion. “Regardless of the destination, I feel I am trained and prepared for any mission or contingency,” he wrote in an e-mail to his family. Lt. White’s father was an Air Force pilot who flew C-130s during the Vietnam era and was surprised when his son decided to skip law school in favor of pilot school.”

His wife, Akiko, and children Courtney, Austin and Zachary are in Japan.