MANISTIQUE, Mich. – Officials have released the identity of the Wisconsin-based fighter pilot who died after a plane crashed in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula on Tuesday, Dec. 8.
On Friday, the Wisconsin Air National Guard’s 115th Fighter Wing identified the deceased fighter pilot as Captain Durwood “Hawk” Jones, a 37-year-old decorated combat veteran from Albuquerque, New Mexico.
At about 8 p.m. on Dec. 8, Jones’ F-16 Fighting Falcon crashed in the Hiawatha National Forest during a training mission. Authorities say Jones was the only person aboard the aircraft.
“We are deeply saddened by this tragic loss, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time,” 115th Fighter Wing Commander Col. Bart Van Roo said Friday. “Today is a day for mourning, and the 115th Fighter Wing along with the entire Wisconsin National Guard stands with the pilot’s family as we grieve the loss of a great Airman, and patriot.”
The 115th Fighter Wing participated in a coordinated search effort with local emergency responders, the U.S. Coast Guard and other government agencies following Tuesday’s crash. The Hiawatha National Forest spans about 879,000 acres, according to the forest’s website.
The cause of the plane crash wasn’t immediately known and is still being investigated as of Dec. 11.
The F-16 was assigned to the 115th Fighter Wing at Truax Field Air National Guard Base in Madison, Wisconsin. The crash site in Delta County is about 250 miles northeast of the base.
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