Two years ago on August 27, 2014, Lt. Col. Morris "Moose" Fontenot, Jr., a 104th Fighter Wing pilot, died after his F-15 jet crashed in Virginia.
He worked at Barnes Air National Guard Base in Westfield and was flying to New Orleans that day for a radar upgrade.
But it was to be his final ride.
Just after 9:00 a.m. the Washington Center Air Traffic Control in Washington D.C. lost radio contact with his F-15C Eagle aircraft after Fontenot reported an in-flight emergency.
By 9:30 a.m. the 104th Fighter Wing learned that his jet had crashed in a remote site near Deerfield Valley, Virginia.
The tragedy impacted many here in western Mass. and he was remembered as not only a stellar flight instructor, but also as a beloved father and husband.
"Moose gave himself every day to everyone," said his longtime friend, Lt. Col. Jed Conaboy.
Lt. Col. Fontenot, Jr., a decorated combat veteran, served with the 104th Fighter Wing as the full-time Wing Inspector General. He had more than 2,300 flight hours logged and had served Active Duty assignments in Washington D.C., Japan, Idaho, Florida, Alaska, and had been deployed numerous times to the Middle East.
Today we remember and honor this pilot who served our country and gave back to his community. Thank you for your service Lt. Col. Fontenot, you will never be forgotten.
Copyright 2016 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.