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Former Blue Angels commander relieved of duty amid misconduct probe

SAN DIEGO -- One of the Navy's top officers has been relieved of duty because of alleged misconduct while he was commander of the famed Blue Angels aerial demonstration team, the Navy announced Friday.

Capt. Gregory McWherter was relieved of his post as executive officer of Naval Base Coronado. The action was taken by Vice Adm. William French, commander of Navy Installations Command.

McWherter was commanding officer and flight leader of the Blue Angels from November 2008 to November 2010, and then from May 2011 to November 2012. The Blue Angels are based at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla.

French's decision "was based on initial findings of an ongoing investigation into recent allegations of misconduct and an inappropriate command climate" at the Blue Angels while McWherter was the commander, the Navy said. No other details were released.

McWherter, an F/A-18 Hornet pilot, has logged 5,500 flight hours and 950 aircraft carrier landings during training missions and deployments to the Mediterranean, the Persian Gulf and the western Pacific.

He was an instructor at the Fighter Weapons School, known as Top Gun. During his second tour with the Blue Angels, McWherter, a graduate of the Citadel, received an award for his "leadership and contributions" to the North American air show industry.

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Twitter: @LATsandiego

tony.perry@latimes.com

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