WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A memorial service for Lt. Col. Morris Fontenot, Jr. will be held over the weekend at Barnes Air National Guard Base; a week after the F-15 pilot died in a tragic crash.
Members of the 104th Fighter Wing and their family members, as well as invited guests will be allowed to attend the service Sunday afternoon at the base’s main hangar. The 2:00 P.M. service will not be open to the public.
Members of Fontenot’s family and airmen from the base will deliver eulogies during Sunday’s service.
In a news release sent to 22News, 104th Fighter Wing Commander Col. James Keefe said that the service will help personnel at Barnes heal from last week’s accident.
“This tragedy hit the wing very hard, and this memorial service is important for the Barnes family to find closure after this accident,” Keefe said.
A Longmeadow resident and an experienced pilot, Fontenot died last Wednesday when his F-15 C Eagle crashed in a heavily wooded area of western Virginia. He was flying to the New Orleans Naval Air Station so that the jet may be upgraded. The cause of the crash remains unknown.
Lt. Col. Fontenot will be laid to final rest at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado in early October.
In lieu of flowers and cards, the family has set up a fund in his memory. Donations may be made through the Red River Valley Fighter Pilot Association at www.river-rats.org.