VF-11, the Red Rippers were in our CAG
when I cruised with VA-196 - met a bunch of good avionics guys in that command. They lost a "D" on the 94 cruise in front of the Discovery Channel and everyone and their brother on deck. It was a planned supersonic flyby so the deck was full of observers, the Tomcat comes flying over the deck, massive boom, shockwave and all and then a second, slightly less dramatic boom, flames and smoke coming out the back of one of the engines, then two popping sounds - the crew baling out. Pilot (and a nugget at that!) had the presence in mind to slow the aircraft down before they punched. Skipper and XO
met the helo when it landed, big hugs for his crew. Only a dislocated shoulder suffered.
Sadly a couple years later, same airwing their sister squadron VF
-31 lost a Tomcat due to similar circumstances after it had done a supersonic flyby past one of our escoprt ships testing it's sea-wiz guns. In that instance the crew bailed out too early, apparently (my division officer at the time went to flight-school with the young pilot and told us this so don't take it as certain fact, I don't have time to research the thing now...) the guy in the back seat was a senior officer, no longer flying everyday and pulled the handle pretty much as soon as he saw all the caution/warning and fire warning lights come on. Neither of course made it, very sad. Put a real damper on that particular det, it was just a ten-day carrier qual det. I think this was the day before an S-3 came in right of centerline (we were in fairly heavy seas) and bounced it's wing off of two F-14 radomes parked in the six-pack waiting to go back up. Skipper of the boat decided it was time to go home the next day instead of completing the rest of the det. During the fly-off that night an F-14 and one of our A-6's FOD'd on separate ocassions on the catapult. Crazy det that was, and a tragic one.
If I remember right the F-14 incidents were down to an issue with the afterburners on the "D" models. For our '96 cruise (and fleetwide) none of the "D" squadrons were permitted to go Supersonic unless combat warranted it, that made the day of the Hornet guys as they were now the ones tasked with all the showboat as well as operational high speed flights.