Memorial services held for two Vance Airmen who died in training accident

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  • 71st Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – Memorial services for Lt. Col. John “Matt” Cravin Kincade and 2nd Lt. Travis Wilkie were held on base Dec. 5, 2019.

Vance Air Force Base Airmen, 19th and 22nd Air Force leadership, and local legislative and civic leadership came together to honor the lives of the two Airmen killed in a training accident Nov. 21, 2019.

“Many people ask me if the wing is okay after all of this…the simple answer is no…we are not…we miss our friends and wingmen,” said Col. Corey Simmons, the 71st Flying Training Wing commander, during the memorial service.

“But very soon, we will be…because we have to be.  And tomorrow, Vance Air Force Base will continue training our next generation of aviators. Because that is what we are called to do,” said Simmons.

Over 1,200 people attended both memorial services, held at 11 a.m. and 2:05 p.m., in the largest aircraft hangar at Vance.

In his remarks regarding Lieutenant Wilkie, Simmons said, “Travis was the best of what we have to offer our nation. A man who loved his wife, his family, his Air Force Academy, his fellow wingman, his instructors, his Air Force, his country and his God.

“He wanted to be the best…so he put his heart and soul into being what few have the chance to do…become a United States Air Force pilot,” said Simmons.

During the second service later that afternoon, Simmons eulogized Colonel Kincade.

“Each of us in this hangar will undoubtedly leave with an imprint of what Cravin meant to each of us. For many it has been and will be extremely personal,” he said.

“For our Kittens (5th Flying Training Squadron members) and Shooters (25th Flying Training Squadron members) who flew with Cravin, that legacy will be of an extremely confident and credible aviator that everyone respected.

“For his family, Gina and the boys, Cravin will always be the husband and father who always put them first – even when the Navy, Air Force, active duty, Guard, and Reserve sometimes made it hard to do,” said Simmons.

Wilkie’s service ended with a Missing Man formation flown by four T-38 Talons piloted by members of the 25th FTS.

Kincade’s service ended with the formation flown by T-38 aircrew from the 5th FTS.