Tributes & Vigils Category: US Air Force
Name: Air Force Capt. Mark R. McDowell
From: Colorado Springs, Colo.
Assigned to the 336th Fighter Squadron, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C.
Incident: Air Force Capt. Mark R. McDowell died July 17 in an F-15E crash near Ghazni Province, Afghanistan. Also killed was Capt. Thomas J. Gramith.
F-15E was 1st fighter to crash in Afghanistan
By Bruce Rolfsen
The loss of an F-15E Strike Eagle over the weekend marked the first crash of an Air Force fighter in Afghanistan since the start of Operation Enduring Freedom in October 2001. Both crewmembers died.
The jet was not shot down, according to a statement from the Defense Department released shortly after the crash. The cause is still under investigation.
Killed were pilot Capt. Mark R. McDowell, 26, and weapons systems officer Capt. Thomas J. Gramith, 27, both deployed to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, from the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. N.C.
The two were flying a close-air support mission over eastern Afghanistan about 3:15 a.m. when the crash occurred, officials said. The government did not say whether the aviators ejected.
The F-15E was the second loss of a deployed fighter from Seymour Johnson since 2001….