MADISON — Wisconsin Air National Guard's 115th Fighter Wing has identified the fighter pilot who died in a crash in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Air Force Capt. Durwood “Hawk” Jones, 37, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, died following a crash during a training flight in a F-16 Fighting Falcon. The Guard says Jones, based out of Truax Field in Madison, crashed in the Hiawatha National Forest on Dec. 8.
The crash launched a massive, multistate search for Jones and his plane. The cause of the accident is under investigation.
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 Medal’s 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.
Jones is survived by his wife and two children.
Wisconsin’s Adjutant General, and his wife, Renee, issued the following statement:
"The entire Wisconsin National Guard family mourns the loss of Capt. Durwood "Hawk" Jones after his tragic passing this week.
The 10,000 strong Citizen Soldiers and Airmen of the Wisconsin Army and Air National Guard are a close-knit family, and we stand together in holding Capt. Jones’s family in our thoughts and prayers.
Losing a member of the Wisconsin National Guard creates a void, and every member of our organization shares in that grief.
Capt. Jones was a great pilot, leader, patriot, and combat veteran, who lost his life training to protect our state and nation. Like all Guardsmen, he was more than that. He was also a loving husband, father, son, brother, and friend.
We will cherish his memory, and honor his sacrifice, as we pray for the healing of his family and the 115th Fighter Wing community."