104th FIGHTER WING REMEMBERS FALLEN HEROES
Release Number: 030515
Published May 02, 2015
The 104th Fighter Wing has scheduled the 28th rededication of its F-100 Memorial for Sun., May 3, 2015, at 2 p.m. The F-100 memorial honors the memory of 13 unit members who gave their lives in performance of their duties to the state and country. The event is not open to the general public.
Honored guests will include Maj. Gen. L. Scott Rice, The Adjutant General, Massachusetts National Guard, and his wife Nancy Rice; Brig. Gen Robert Brooks Jr., Assistant Adjutant General for Air, Massachusetts Air National Guard; Senator Don Humason, 2nd Hampden and Hampshire District; Representative John Velis, 4th Hampden district.
Family members of fallen airmen will include Morris Fontenot, Sr., Mary Jane Fontenot, Kara (Parks) Fontenot, Natalie Fontenot and Nicole Fontenot (on behalf of Lt. Col. Morris Fontenot Jr., Longmeadow, Mass., Aug. 27, 2014); John Bannish, Joyce Bannish and Patricia Koon (on behalf of Capt. Leonard Bannish, Wilkes-Barre, Pa., May 30, 1968); and Cathy (Gibe) Langlois, John Langlois and Christie Langlois (on behalf of Capt. Frank Gibe, Westfield, Mass., July 28, 1956).
The F-100 monument was originally dedicated on May 17, 1987, by the Chief Master Sergeants Council, and has stood as a constant reminder of the impact of these Guardsmen in the history of the unit. Engraved upon the memorial are the names of unit members who passed away in aviation-related events:
· 1st Lt. Edward W. Meacham, Monomoy Point, Mass., Aug. 17, 1948
· Maj. Robert Anderstrom, Granby, Conn., May 7, 1954
· 1st Lt. Richard Brown, Granville, Mass., Oct. 19, 1954
· Tech. Sgt. Austin A. Cooper, Granville, Mass., Oct. 19, 1954
· Capt. Frank A. Gibe, Westfield, Mass., July 28, 1956
· Maj. Richard W. Mahoney, New Orleans, La., 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, Mass., July 17, 1964
· Maj. James Romanowicz, Granby, Mass., Feb. 1, 1965
· Capt. Leonard E. Bannish, Wilkes-Barre, Pa., May 30, 1968
· Maj. John S. Southrey, Wells, N.Y., Sept. 17, 1986
· Lt. Col. Morris Fontenot Jr., Longmeadow, Mass., Aug. 27, 2014
The 104th Fighter Wing is equipped with the F-15 Eagle. One mission of the 104th is Aerospace Control Alert (ACA), providing armed fighters ready to scramble in a moment's notice to protect the Northeast from any airborne threat. The unit is responsible for protecting a quarter of the nation's population and one third of the Gross Domestic Product.