MADISON, Wis. — F-16s from the 115th Fighter Wing’s 176th Fighter Squadron and F-15s from the Oregon Air National Guard’s 123rd Fighter Squadron will conduct a missing man formation flyover as an aerial salute to fallen 115th Fighter Wing pilot Maj. Durwood “Hawk” Jones, who perished in an F-16 crash in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula late last year.
The flyover salute will take place in the skies over Truax Field Air National Guard Base at Dane County Regional Airport April 17 at 11:30 a.m. during a memorial service at the 115th Fighter Wing held in honor of Jones.
The 123rd Fighter Squadron is participating in the flyover as a show of support and solidarity because Maj. Jones’s brother is an F-15 pilot in the unit.
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. Following the missing man flyover, the flags will be presented to his children in honor of his service and sacrifice.
The 115th Fighter Wing will stream the flyover live on its Facebook page, and the flyover will be visible from public vantage points. However, the memorial service will be an internal event for 115th Fighter Wing personnel and family members, and media and the public will not be granted access.
Note to news editors, directors, and producers: A Wisconsin Army National Guard 132nd Army Band recording of “Taps” is available at the following link: https://youtu.be/4aOG1Cw9mUo . We will observe a moment of silence at 11:30 a.m. April 17 and welcome any media participation during TV or radio broadcasts by playing this recording of “Taps” in observance.