104th Fighter Wing honors Airmen fallen in flight

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Sara Kolinski
  • 104th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Airmen gathered to honor 13 Airmen fallen in flight from the 104th Fighter Wing who have given their lives in performance of their duties to the state and country during the annual F-100 Memorial Rededication Ceremony, May 21, 2021, at Barnes Air National Guard Base, Massachusetts.

The F-100 monument was originally dedicated on May 17, 1987 by the Chief Master Sergeant’s Council. Since then, it has stood as a reminder of the impact of the fallen Guardsmen on the unit.

In May, the 104th Fighter Wing comes together at the F-100 memorial rededication ceremony, during which the service and sacrifice of the fallen Airmen is honored by the placement of a wreath, a 21 gun salute, taps, and an F-15 flyover.

Engraved upon the memorial where the wreath is placed, are the names of unit members who passed away in aviation related events:

1st Lt. Edward W. Meacham, Monomoy Point, Massachusetts, Aug. 17, 1948
Maj. Robert Anderstrom, Granby, Connecticut, May 7, 1954
1st Lt. Richard Brown, Granville, Massachusetts, Oct. 19, 1954
Tech. Sgt. Austin A. Cooper, Granville, Massachusetts, Oct. 19, 1954
Capt. Frank A. Gibe, Westfield, Massachusetts, July 28, 1956
Maj. Richard W. Mahoney, New Orleans, Louisiana, April 22, 1961
1st Lt. Joseph F. Crehore, Chalons, France March 21, 1962
Capt. Hugh M. Lavalle, Upstate New York, Nov. 16 1963
Capt. John H. Paris, Westfield, Massachusetts, July 17, 1964
Maj. James Romanowicz, Granby, Massachusetts, Feb. 1, 1965
Capt. Leonard E. Bannish, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, May 30, 1968
Maj. John S. Southrey, Wells, New York, Sept. 17, 1968
Lt. Col. Morris “Moose” Fontenot Jr., Deerfield Valley, Virginia, Aug. 27, 2014

Distinguished visitors present during the 2021 F-100 Rededication Ceremony included Don Humason, Mayor of Westfield, Brig. Gen. Virginia Gaglio, Commander of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, Col. Tom ‘Sling’ Bladen, 104 FW Commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Brett Barbee, 104 FW Command Chief. They were joined by family members of the fallen Airmen and Barnestormers to pay their respects and honor the 104 FW heritage.

“This monument serves as a constant reminder that the defense of our nation and our way of life may come at times with great personal sacrifice to preserve the freedoms that we enjoy every day,” said Bladen. “To the families of our fallen airman, thank you for your tremendous sacrifices and for the support you provided your loved ones as they helped preserve democracy by preserving this great nation. The sacrifices you have made cannot be put into words, and the contributions your service members made to the 104th are too great to be measured.”