Flyover salute scheduled for WI F-16 pilot who crashed in UP last year

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Photo courtesy of Wisconsin National Guard

(WFRV) – A missing man formation flyover will be done as an aerial salute for 155th Fighter Wing pilot Maj. Durwood “Hawk” Jones, who fatally crashed in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in late 2020.

There will be two types of aircraft participating in the flyover, including:

  • F-16s from the 115th Fighter Wing’s 176th Fighter Squadron
  • F-15s from the Oregon Air National Guard’s 123rd Fighter Squadron

According to officials, the flyover salute will take place over Truax Field Air National Guard Base at Dane County Regional Airport on April 17 at 11:30 a.m.

The 123rd Fighter Squadron is participating in the flyover as well because Maj. Jones’s brother is an F-15 pilot in the unit.

The Wisconsin National Guard described the missing man formation as:

“The missing man formation is an aerial salute flyover that is performed in memory of a fallen pilot. In this case, the formation will consist of four aircraft flying in a “V” formation, and the flight leader will abruptly pull up out of the formation while the rest of the formation continues to fly level until all aircraft are out of sight. When the flight leader pulls out of the formation, it will leave an empty space in the formation in honor of the fallen pilot and representing their departure to the heavens.”

During the flyover, two of the aircraft will carry U.S. flags on board in the cockpits in memory of Jones, according to officials. Those flags will be presented to his children in honor of his service and sacrifice.

According to a release, Capt. Jones died as a result of the crash during an evening training flight in Michigan’s Hiawatha National Forest, said Col. Bart Van Roo, the 115th Fighter Wing commander.

Capt. Jones joined the Air National Guard in 2011 and graduated from F-16 basic qualification training in 2015.

Capt. Jones has been awarded two Air Medals with combat “C” devices, which are awarded to individuals who have been personally exposed to hostile action or under significant risk of hostile action.

Before joining the military, Capt Jones graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in mathematics in 2005.

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