MADISON — A fundraiser has raised over $50,000 of its $176,000 to help the family of U.S. Air Force Capt. Durwood “Hawk” Jones, who passed away in a plane crash in the Upper Peninsula last week.
Capt. Jones 37, of Albuquerque, New Mexico was based out of Truax Field in Madison. He left behind his wife and two boys, and now the organizer of a GoFundMe fundraiser is asking for help to support his family.
"He left us too soon, but Rocky’s legacy as a loving husband, dedicated father and friend, and a steadfast patriot lives on. Please help us in supporting the needs of our Badger Family," writes fundraiser organizer Zoe “SiS” Davies.
As of Monday evening, the fundraiser has raised $53,423 of the $176,000 goal.
Wisconsin Air National Guard's 115th Fighter Wing said last week that Jones was the pilot of the F-16 that crashed in the Hiawatha National Forest on Dec. 8, launching a massive interstate search.
Capt. Jones joined the Air National Guard in 2011 and graduated from F-16 basic qualification training in 2015, according to the Guard. Jones deployed as a part of a United States Pacific Command Theater Support Package to Japan in 2015 and to Korea in 2017. He also deployed in Operation Freedom’s Sentinel to Afghanistan in 2019.
Jones was awarded two Air Medals with combat “C” devices, which are awarded to people who have been personally exposed to hostile action or under significant risk of hostile action, according to the Guard.
Capt. Jones graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in mathematics in 2005 before he joined the military.
According to the fundraiser:
"He was also a master innovator. His insatiable appetite for process improvement and incredible intellect led to him single handedly invent new ways to improve the daily processes in the squadron around him. From computer programming to making mariachi music, Rocky was a brilliant mind with limitless capability that was loved by all around him"