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    Selfridge A-10 Pilot Honored by Daedalians

    Daedalians Award

    Photo By Master Sgt. David Kujawa | Major Brett DeVries is presented the Joe Foss Award for Excellence by Lt. Gen. (ret.)...... read more read more

    MI, UNITED STATES

    03.04.2018

    Story by Tech. Sgt. Daniel Heaton 

    127th Wing Public Affairs

    Major Brett DeVries has been awarded the Joe Foss Award for Excellence by the Daedalians, a national military aviation organization. The award, which had not been presented since 2013, recognized DeVries “superior Airmanship” during a flight emergency in an A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft in 2017.

    DeVries, a pilot with the 107th Fighter Squadron at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, was conducting a gun strafing run in the A-10 while flying over the Grayling Air Gunnery Range in northern Michigan on July 20, 2017. The gun jammed, causing the aircraft’s canopy to eject while in flight. A resulting series of equipment failures knocked out most of Devries’ radio capability and locked the aircraft’s landing gear in the up position. Working closely with his wingman, Major Shannon Vickers who was flying in another A-10, DeVries briefly considered ejecting from the aircraft.

    Ultimately, DeVries was able to land the A-10 at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center. The aircraft’s tires, which are partially exposed on an A-10 to allow for a wheels-up landing, blew out on touchdown. DeVries was able to maintain partial control of the aircraft. No one was injured in the emergency and the aircraft suffered only minimal damage.

    “This was a display of superior Airmanship that lives up to the finest tradition of military aviation,” said Lt. Gen. (ret.) Douglas Owens, national commander of the Order of the Daedalians.

    He made a special trip to Michigan from his home in Texas to present the Foss award to DeVries.

    The Daedalians were founded by a group of World War I pilots to support and encourage excellence in military aviation. Owens said the organization was founded by the first generation of people who defended the nation in the air.

    “Today, that legacy is continued, thanks to pilots such as Major DeVries,” Owens said.

    The Foss Award honors the legacy of Brig. Gen. Joe Foss, a former Marine Corps pilot who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his service during World War II. Foss, who served in the Air National Guard in later years, was the top Marine fighter ace in World War II.

    DeVries earned his wings and became an A-10 pilot with the Michigan Air National Guard about eight years ago.

    During the Daedalian ceremony, DeVries was also awarded commander’s coins from Owens; Major Gen. Leonard Isabelle, commander of the Michigan Air National Guard and a former 107th pilot himself; and from Brig. Gen. Doug Slocum, the 127th Wing commander at Selfridge. Owens and Slocum are former and current A-10 pilots, respectively. Isabelle flew F-16 Falcons with the 107th.

    Slocum said in addition to DeVries, the team that supported him on that day, most notably Vickers, also deserves recognition.

    “It is a team effort. And the team worked together perfectly on this day,” Slocum said.

    Owens said unlike most Daedalian awards, which are presented annually, the Foss award is only presented on special occasions, when warranted.

    “But when this nomination crossed our desk, it was obvious that Major DeVries needed to be recognized,” Owens said.

    DeVries was nominated for the award by Lt. Col. Brian Boeding, commander of the 107th Fighter Squadron.

    The 107th celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2017. The squadron was created in 1917 for service in World War I. In 1926, the squadron was reorganized as a component of the Michigan National Guard.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 03.04.2018
    Date Posted: 03.06.2018 11:33
    Story ID: 268059
    Location: MI, US

    Podcast Hits: 0

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