Pilot Killed in Monday's Crash Had Long Military Career

(Editor's note: The following is a release from Indiana Governor Joe Kernan's office about the military service career of Major William Burchett, killed in a training crash Monday afternoon.)

Maj. William Burchett, the Indiana Air National Guard Pilot who lost his life in a mid-air collision yesterday, served his country with honor.  His most recent assignment was as the Aircraft Commander, B-Flight, 181st Fighter Wing.  He had served 13 years, as a pilot, in the United States Air Force and graduated as a Second Lieutenant, in May of 1991 from the United States Air Force Academy.  His most recent promotion came in June of 2001, where he was advanced to the rank of Major.  Additional Military Source Information is as follows:

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Professional Military Education:

1.) Completed Squadron Officer School--October, 1998

2.) Completed Air Command & Staff College--April, 2003


Military Awards:

·        Air Medal

·        Air Force Commendation Medal

·        Combat Readiness Medal

·        Small Arms Expert Ribbon

·        National Defense Service Medal

·        Air Force Training Ribbon

·        Air Force Longevity Service Award

·        Air Force Outstanding Unit Award

·        Air Defense Force Expeditionary Medal

·        Indiana Overseas Service Ribbon

·        Indiana Homeland Defense Service Ribbon


The Joint Forces Headquarters in conjunction with the 181st Fighter Wing ask that prayers go out to both pilot's families.  This is a challenging time for the close-knit group of fighter pilots assigned to the 181st Fighter Wing in Terre Haute, Ind.  Yesterday’s training accident punctuated the fact that defending freedom is a dangerous business.