MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Horn Lake, Mississippi man was one of two people killed in a military plane crash on Sunday.
The Navy on Tuesday officially identified the victims in Sunday’s crash of a T-45 aircraft as Lt. j.g. Wallace E. Burch, 25, of Horn Lake and Lt. Patrick L. Ruth, 31, of Metairie, Louisiana.
Burch had been in the Navy for nearly three years and was a member of VT-7 since 2016. Burch’s Facebook page lists his hometown as Memphis.
In a Facebook post, Tennessee state Rep. Ron Gant called Burch “an American hero.”
“I am deeply saddened by the death of Ensign Wallace Burch. He died serving our country, a sacrifice none should take for granted. Ensign Burch, a West Tennessean that excelled in a field that many only dream of. A fighter pilot and naval aviator from a family of military service members, Wallace Burch has the designation of American Hero. We are praying for Wallace’s father, Fayette Countian Dr. Will Burch and entire family. God bless the Burch family and prayers for their healing.”
The aircraft was flying out of the Naval Air Station in Meridian, Mississippi, when it crashed, killing two.
According to the Navy, the air wing was training in the Tellico Plains area of the Cherokee National Forest in East Tennessee.
An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the mishap.
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