HomeNewsArticle Display

Airmen fly, pay homage to fallen aviator

Four F-22 Raptors from the 27th Fighter Squadron out of Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., fly in formation below a 434th Air Refueling Wing KC-135R Stratotanker from Grissom Air Reserve Base, Ind., prior to a flyover in Tipton, Ind., Sept. 29, 2016.  The flyover was part of a memorial ceremony for Army Air Corps Lt. Robert McIntosh, who passed away after his aircraft crashed during World War II. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Col. Hiram Gates)

Four F-22 Raptors from the 27th Fighter Squadron out of Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., fly in formation below a 434th Air Refueling Wing KC-135R Stratotanker from Grissom Air Reserve Base, Ind., prior to a flyover in Tipton, Ind., Sept. 29, 2016. The flyover was part of a memorial ceremony for Army Air Corps 1st Lt. Robert McIntosh, who passed away after his aircraft crashed during World War II. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Col. Hiram Gates)

Patricia Talley and Jeannine Baker-McIntosh, sisters of Army Air Corps Lt. Robert McIntosh, 27th Fighter Squadron pilot, sit in front of their brother’s tombstone before a flyover Sept. 29, 2016 in Tipton, Ind. McIntosh’s aircraft crashed in 1942 and his remains were recently returned home. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Dakota Bergl)

Patricia Talley and Jeannine Baker-McIntosh, sisters of Army Air Corps 1st Lt. Robert McIntosh, 27th Fighter Squadron pilot, sit in front of their brother’s tombstone before a flyover Sept. 29, 2016 in Tipton, Ind. McIntosh’s aircraft crashed in 1944 and his remains were recently returned home. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Dakota Bergl)

F-22 Raptors from the 27th Fighter Squadron perform a flyover in during a ceremony to honor a World War II veteran Tipton, Ind. Sept. 29, 2016. The ceremony was to honor Lt. Robert McIntosh, 27th Fighter Squadron pilot, whose remains were recently recovered. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Dakota Bergl)

F-22 Raptors from the 27th Fighter Squadron perform a flyover in during a ceremony to honor a World War II veteran Tipton, Ind. Sept. 29, 2016. The ceremony was to honor 1st Lt. Robert McIntosh, 27th Fighter Squadron pilot, whose remains were recently recovered. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Dakota Bergl)

Members of American Legion Post 46 present arms during a ceremony to honor Army Air Corps Lt. Robert Mcintosh, 27th Fighter Squadron pilot, a World War II veteran in Tipton, Ind. Sept 29, 2106. McIntosh’s aircraft went down in Italy in 1942 and his remains were recently recovered. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Dakota Bergl)

Members of American Legion Post 46 present arms during a ceremony to honor Army Air Corps 1st Lt. Robert Mcintosh, 27th Fighter Squadron pilot, a World War II veteran in Tipton, Ind. Sept 29, 2106. McIntosh’s aircraft went down in Italy in 1944 and his remains were recently recovered. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Dakota Bergl)

Members of American Legion Post 46 prepare for a ceremony to honor a World War II veteran in Tipton, Ind., Sept. 29, 2016. The ceremony was held to honor Army Air Corps Lt. Robert McIntosh, 27th Fighter Squadron pilot, whose plane crashed in 1942 and his remains we recently recovered. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Dakota Bergl)

Members of American Legion Post 46 prepare for a ceremony to honor a World War II veteran in Tipton, Ind., Sept. 29, 2016. The ceremony was held to honor Army Air Corps 1st Lt. Robert McIntosh, 27th Fighter Squadron pilot, whose plane crashed in 1944 and his remains we recently recovered. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Dakota Bergl)

Three F-22 Raptors fly over Tipton Indiana during a ceremony that honored Army Air Corps Lt. Robert McIntosh, Sept. 29, 2016. McIntosh was a fighter pilot during World War II whose plane, a P-38 Lightning, disappeared in Italy on May 22, 1944.(U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Andrew Crawford)

Three F-22 Raptors fly over Tipton Indiana during a ceremony that honored Army Air Corps 1st Lt. Robert McIntosh, Sept. 29, 2016. McIntosh was a fighter pilot during World War II whose plane, a P-38 Lightning, disappeared in Italy on May 22, 1944.(U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Andrew Crawford)

Jeannine Baker-McIntosh is greeted during a ceremony to honor her brother, Army Air Corps Lt. Robert McIntosh, Sept.29, 2016. McIntosh was a fighter pilot during World War II whose plane, a P-38 Lightning, disappeared in Italy on May 22, 1944. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Andrew Crawford)

Jeannine Baker-McIntosh is greeted during a ceremony to honor her brother, Army Air Corps 1st Lt. Robert McIntosh, Sept.29, 2016. McIntosh was a fighter pilot during World War II whose plane, a P-38 Lightning, disappeared in Italy on May 22, 1944. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Andrew Crawford)

The tombstone of Army Air Corps Lt. Robert McIntosh is photographed during a ceremony commemorating his life in Tipton Ind., Sept. 29, 2016. McIntosh was a fighter pilot during World War II whose plane, a P-38 Lightning, disappeared in Italy on May 22, 1944. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Andrew Crawford)

The tombstone of Army Air Corps 1st Lt. Robert McIntosh is photographed during a ceremony commemorating his life in Tipton Ind., Sept. 29, 2016. McIntosh was a fighter pilot during World War II whose plane, a P-38 Lightning, disappeared in Italy on May 22, 1944. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Andrew Crawford)

Family and friends gathered together for a ceremony commemorating the life of Army Air Corps Lt. Robert McIntosh in Tipton Ind., Sept. 29, 2016. McIntosh was a fighter pilot during World War II whose plane, a P-38 Lightning, disappeared in Italy on May 22, 1944. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Andrew Crawford)

Family and friends gathered together for a ceremony commemorating the life of Army Air Corps 1st Lt. Robert McIntosh in Tipton Ind., Sept. 29, 2016. McIntosh was a fighter pilot during World War II whose plane, a P-38 Lightning, disappeared in Italy on May 22, 1944. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Andrew Crawford)

GRISSOM AIR RESERVE BASE, Ind. -- Army Air Corps 1st Lt. Robert McIntosh, 27th Fighter Squadron pilot, was honored Sept. 29 with a flyover in Tipton, Indiana by a formation of F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft.

McIntosh was a fighter pilot during World War II whose plane, a P-38 Lightning, disappeared in Italy on May 12, 1944.

McIntosh’s sisters, Jeannine Baker-McIntosh and Patricia Talley, both said that they were happy to have closure about what happened to their brother and are very glad the Air Force did so much to honor his memory and sacrifice.

“We are so pleased that he finally made his way home to us,” said Baker-McIntosh. “We are a military family from the word go and our mother and father would be so happy to know what happened to him. Mom had hope that his remains would be found until the day she died.”

“We are ecstatic that the Air Force is putting forth all this effort for our brother,” said Talley, echoing her sister’s thoughts. “We are amazed by the deep respect that is being shown by the Air Force.”

The Raptors selected to perform the flyover were from the same 27th FS McIntosh flew with. The 27th FS is now based out of joint base Langley-Eustis, Virginia and flying the F-22.

Capt. Justin Lennon, 27th FS pilot, one of the pilots who performed the flyover, said he was honored to participate in the event.

“It’s awesome we have the opportunity to give him the respect that he deserves,” said Lennon. “We have the privilege of being the oldest fighter squadron in the Air Force. All of that history makes me proud of my job, my squadron, Lieutenant McIntosh for his sacrifice and proud of the Air Force and what we do.”

A KC-135R Stratotanker from Grissom helped support the flyover by refueling the F-22s enroute to the ceremony and flyover site in Tipton.

“We are happy to play a small part in honoring a fallen aviator,” said Col. Larry Shaw, 434th Air Refueling Wing commander. “Aviators, whether they be past or present, are a fraternity of brothers and we are pleased to play a role in his memorial.”

McIntosh’s plane was the last in a formation that was returning to base following a mission. Due to the poor weather conditions at the time the formation was told to fly up over the storm however McIntosh never made it above the clouds, his plane was last seen diving through the storm.

In September 2013, the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office (now DPAA) received information from private citizens regarding the partial excavation of a crash site in Santa Cristina, Italy. The citizens found evidence which confirmed this was McIntosh’s crash site.

In August 2015, a DPAA recovery team helped excavate the crash site.

To identify McIntosh’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used mitochondrial DNA analysis, which matched two sisters, as well as dental and anthropological analysis and circumstantial evidence.

The 27th Fighter Squadron has been active since World War I, at the time called the 27th Aero Squadron, flying various aircraft. Most recently the 27th FS has been given the task of flying the F-22 Raptor.

The F-22 Raptor entered service in December of 2005 and was designed to be an air superiority fighter. The F-22 is considered critical to tactical air power by the Air Force. The F-22 Raptor fact sheet is available here.

The 434th ARW is the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command. Men and women from the Hoosier Wing routinely deploy around the world in support of the Air Force mission.

Stay connected with the 434th ARW on Facebook and Twitter.