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Family of Blue Angel pilot killed in Tennessee crash donates flight suit to town’s memorial

Blue Angel pilot Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss

To thank the town of Smyrna, Tennessee, for its overwhelming support following her husband’s death, the wife of Blue Angel pilot and Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss recently sent a very special gift — one of her husband’s flight suits.

Kuss died during an air show practice in Smyrna on June 2, 2016. In the years since, the Kuss family and the town have developed a close bond, with the town dedicating a memorial to Kuss in 2018.

“The amount of love and generosity you all have shown still brings tears to my eyes,” Christina Kuss wrote in a note with the package that contained her husband’s Blue Angels’ flight suit.

“The gratitude in our hearts runs deep and forever. So grateful for this special suit to be with you all in the town of Smyrna,” she wrote.

Amber Hobbs, a spokeswoman for the town, said Smyrna will likely display the suit at its Outdoor Adventure Center, which is near the Capt. Jeff Kuss Memorial.

“We have school field trips that go through there and there are different exhibits that are set up,” she said.

The city also has an educational curriculum tied to the center and the Kuss memorial, she said.


The flight suit donated to the town of Smyrna, Tennessee, by Christina Kuss, wife of Blue Angels pilot Jeff Kuss. Juss, a Marine captain, was killed in 2016 crash in Smyrna, Tennessee.
Amber Hobbs

“That was important to the Kuss family because one aspect of Jeff was his love for children,” said Hobbs, who added that curriculum, which has been approved by the state of Tennessee, includes information about aviation and military history.

Kuss, 32, was a father of two young children. He had been with the team since 2014 and was one of the team’s two solo pilots. The Durango, Colorado, native served with the Marine Corps in Afghanistan before being selected to serve with the Blue Angels.

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