AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. — Officials with the Massachusetts National Guard’s 104th Fighter Wing identified the pilot killed in a Wednesday crash of an F-15 fighter jet in Augusta County, Va. as Lt. Col. Morris “Moose” Fontenot, Jr. of Longmeadow, Mass.

Guard representatives said Fontenot was en route to New Orleans for plane maintenance, including the installation of a radar upgrade, when he reported an in-flight emergency before losing radio contact on Wednesday morning.

Although the plane crash site was quickly located in the rural area, Fontenot’s body was not found until Thursday at the crash site — in tough terrain about 50 miles from Marlinton in Pocahontas County, W.Va.

More than 100 people were part of the search for him.

Initially, there had been the possibility that Fontenot may have been able to eject himself from the aircraft before the crash.

Fontenot was a full-time Wing Inspector General for the 104th and a decorated combat veteran with more than 17 years of F-15 flying experience. While on active duty, he’d served in Washington, D.C., Alaska, Florida, Idaho and Japan and was deployed several times to the Middle East.

The 104th Fighter Wing is tasked with providing air security over much of the Northeast including New York City.

The investigation into the cause of the crash continued on Friday afternoon.

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  • Curly Joe

    These posts make me so proud and thankful.
    I can only echo each of them and thank those of you who took the time for your tribute to Lt. Col. Fotnenot. May this good warrior rest in peace and comfort, courage and strength to his family.

  • vandalia

    Lt. Col, Fontenot,
    off you go into the wild blue yonder.......
    many thanks.

  • Shadow

    It is always time to remember that Freedom is not Free. A lot of good men have given their life for the Flag and Uniform in Peace and War. REP

    • Shadow

      Sorry, S/B: RIP.

  • From 167AW WVANG

    RIP Lt Col Fontenot. our fondest gratitude to you and your loved ones...Sir, you will always be da man!

    High Flight
    "Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
    And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
    Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
    of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
    You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
    High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
    I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
    My eager craft through footless halls of air....

    Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
    I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace.
    Where never lark, or even eagle flew —
    And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
    The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
    - Put out my hand, and touched the face of God

  • Moco man

    These guys fly right down our valley and are fun to watch..........very sad for the family.

  • jethro

    so sad , prayers to family and friends
    god bless america