Members of 104th Fighter Wing mourn loss of pilot, hold prayer s - KCTV5

Members of 104th Fighter Wing mourn loss of pilot, hold prayer service

Posted: Updated:
Members of the 104th Fighter Wing joined in a prayer service to remember their fallen comrade and pray for his family. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Robert J. Sabonis) Members of the 104th Fighter Wing joined in a prayer service to remember their fallen comrade and pray for his family. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Robert J. Sabonis)
Members of the 104th Fighter Wing gathered in a hangar to remember Lt. Col. Morris "Moose" Fontenot Jr. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Robert J. Sabonis) Members of the 104th Fighter Wing gathered in a hangar to remember Lt. Col. Morris "Moose" Fontenot Jr. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Robert J. Sabonis)
Lt. Col. Morris 'Moose' Fontenot Jr. in an F-15. (104th Fighter Wing) Lt. Col. Morris 'Moose' Fontenot Jr. in an F-15. (104th Fighter Wing)
Lt. Col. Morris 'Moose' Fontenot Jr. (U.S. Air Force) Lt. Col. Morris 'Moose' Fontenot Jr. (U.S. Air Force)
WESTFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

Members of the 104th Fighter Wing Friday mourned the loss of their fellow pilot, Lt. Col. Morris "Moose" Fontenot Jr., a decorated war veteran who was killed in an F-15 crash in Virginia Wednesday morning.

A prayer service was held Friday morning in memory of Fontenot, a Texas native who lived in Longmeadow. Members of the unit gathered in a hangar at Barnes Air National Guard Base to remember their fallen comrade and pray for his family.

Search and rescue efforts in the thickly wooded mountains near Deerfield, VA were taken up by approximately 150 people from a number of agencies, including the FBI, several National Guard agencies and local law enforcement, according to Massachusetts National Guard 2nd Lt. Bonnie Harper.

"The 104th Fighter Wing is extremely grateful for the outpouring of support demonstrated by our local community, and nearly 30 agencies in the Virginia area that spent more than 30 hours scouring over dangerous terrain, committed to finding our fallen Airman and to bring him home," said Col. James Keefe, 104th Fighter Wing Commander.

Senior leaders from the Massachusetts Air National Guard expressed their gratitude to the local, state and federal agencies that supported the search and recovery operations.

"The level of support provided by a number of states and at the federal level has been very helpful during this challenging time," said Massachusetts National Guard Adjutant General Maj. Gen. L. Scott Rice. "On behalf of the men and women of the Massachusetts National Guard, I thank each and every one of you for your assistance. The continued support from the available agencies will be critical as we work through the ongoing recovery and investigation."

Agencies that provided assistance during the search included the Augusta County Sheriff's Office, Augusta County Fire and Rescue, Deerfield Fire Department, Churchville Fire Department, Swope Fire Department, Virginia State Police, Virginia National Guard, Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries, Civil Air Patrol, U.S. Forest Service, FBI, U.S. Border and Customs Enforcement, Maryland State Police Aviation, Indiana National Guard, Massachusetts Air National Guard, New Jersey National Guard, Alabama National Guard, West Virginia National Guard and the U.S. Air Force, Harper said.

In addition, a number of volunteer search and rescue teams also participated in the rescue operation, including the Southwestern VA Mountain Rescue Group, Search & Rescue Dogs East, Shenandoah Mountain Rescue Group, Blue Ridge Mountain Rescue Group, Blue-Gray Search & Rescue, VA Search & Rescue Dogs Association and Piedmont Search & Rescue, Harper said.

The investigation into the crash remains ongoing, according to Harper.

Copyright 2014 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Police investigate homicide after woman found dead near 70th, Spruce

    Police investigate homicide after woman found dead near 70th, Spruce

    Monday, December 11 2017 1:53 PM EST2017-12-11 18:53:21 GMT
    When they arrived, officers found a woman, described as a white woman in here 20’s or 30’s, laying near the road. (KCTV5)When they arrived, officers found a woman, described as a white woman in here 20’s or 30’s, laying near the road. (KCTV5)

    Police in Kansas City are investigating a homicide that took a woman's life early Monday morning. Officers were called at about 12:49 a.m. to the 7000 block of Kensington Avenue on an ambulance call.

    More >

    Police in Kansas City are investigating a homicide that took a woman's life early Monday morning. Officers were called at about 12:49 a.m. to the 7000 block of Kensington Avenue on an ambulance call.

    More >
  • Kansas City police shoot, injure carjacking suspect

    Kansas City police shoot, injure carjacking suspect

    Monday, December 11 2017 5:50 PM EST2017-12-11 22:50:55 GMT

    A carjacking led to a chase and ended with a police shooting as bystanders had to be rushed into the downtown courthouse while officers searched for suspects.

    More >

    A carjacking led to a chase and ended with a police shooting as bystanders had to be rushed into the downtown courthouse while officers searched for suspects.

    More >
  • Gunfire in Northland strip mall puts shoppers on edge

    Gunfire in Northland strip mall puts shoppers on edge

    Monday, December 11 2017 10:35 PM EST2017-12-12 03:35:39 GMT
    (Betsy Webster/KCTV5)(Betsy Webster/KCTV5)
    Gunfire in a Northland strip mall put some people on edge Monday night.  Police took down the crime tape after three hours of investigation in and around an area of NE 53rd Street and North Antioch.  Investigators on scene say people in two vehicles were exchanging gunfire. One of the vehicles drove away, while another crashed, then ran and was caught.  The man in the white SUV ran through the parking lot and was arrested at the edge of the Firehouse Subs. The driver...More >
    Gunfire in a Northland strip mall put some people on edge Monday night.  Police took down the crime tape after three hours of investigation in and around an area of NE 53rd Street and North Antioch.  Investigators on scene say people in two vehicles were exchanging gunfire. One of the vehicles drove away, while another crashed, then ran and was caught.  The man in the white SUV ran through the parking lot and was arrested at the edge of the Firehouse Subs. The driver...More >
Powered by Frankly
KCTV 5 News

Online Public File:
KCTV  KSMO

Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, KCTV; Kansas City, MO. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.