The videos, produced in 2006-2007 when Honors was the No. 2 officer aboard the Enterprise, show him introducing and starring in often lewd skits about life onboard the mammoth ship. They were broadcast on closed-circuit television shipwide almost weekly in an attempt to raise morale during long and stressful deployments at sea. The videos appear to have been tolerated by the ship's commanding officer at the time.
In a video obtained by the Virginian-Pilot newspaper, Owens is seen griping about individuals who complained about the offensive content in the skits. The paper also reported that official complaints to leaders at the time were brushed aside. A new admiral who took over command of the Enterprise Strike Group in February 2007 had their production halted.
"We all looked forward to those videos from Honors while under way," wrote one sailor.
"I too was on that deployment. Capt. Honors brought up our morale and provided well-needed and appreciated comic relief. We were under way for long durations, supporting two theaters of war simultaneously. He brought many smiles to a worn out and tired crew. I can easily say that all of the crew, ship's company and air wing embarked, appreciated the videos," wrote another.
That dedication from his sailors doesn't surprise those who know him.
"Those who served under him love him" Carroll said.
Owen P. Honors Jr. was born 49 years ago in Syracuse, N.Y. He attended the U.S. Naval Academy and graduated in 1983 with a bachelor of science in aerospace engineering. Two years later, in 1985, he was designated a naval aviator.
He went on to fly F-14 fighter jets and attended Top Gun, formally known as the U.S. Naval Fighter Weapons School. Honors was selected to attend Test Pilot School, from which he graduated in 1990.
Early on, however, Honors experienced firsthand how dangerous being a test pilot could be.
A Navy/Mcdonnell Douglas T-45A test plane that Honors was attempting to land June 4, 1992, veered immediately to the left after touchdown and ran off the concrete runway. According to an Aviation Week and Space Technology article at the time, he couldn't avoid hitting a truck, and two men parked nearby were ejected before the plane hit an old building. The plane's right wing tip, nose gear and part of the landing gear were shorn off, but according to the article, Honors escaped safely.
Honors' official bio also ticked off a significant list of accomplishments in the air; He logged more than 3,400 flight hours in 31 types of planes; made more than 700 landings on 15 different carriers; and took part in 85 combat missions in three conflict zones. Honors has received the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and other prestigious recognitions of service.