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    Izzea Street rededicated to fallen Air Force pilot

    Fallen Airman honored in rededication ceremony

    Photo By Airman 1st Class Julia Ahaesy | U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Joseph G. Izzea’s family, attends the rededication of Izzea...... read more read more



    Story by Timothy Sandland 

    102nd Intelligence Wing   

    1st. Lt. Joseph G. Izzea was honored by the 102nd Intelligence Wing during a rededication ceremony Sept. 1, 2023., Izzea tragically lost his life in service to the nation as the result of an aircraft collision in 1958.

    On hand for the rededication was Izzea's sister, Patricia Izzea Auerbach, who traveled from Pennsylvania to visit the street named after her brother for the very first time.

    Presiding over the event was Col. Sean Riley, 102nd Intelligence Wing commander. Riley presented Auerbach with a duplicate of the Izzea Street sign, along with the gratitude of a thankful nation.

    "On behalf of all the men and women in the 102d Intelligence Wing it is my privilege to present you this duplicate of the Izzea Street Sign.," said Riley. He then read text from the plaque, "In memory of 1st Lt Joseph G. Izzea. Proud Guardian of Freedom. Gone too soon. January 23, 1958. Remembered by the Airmen of the 102d Intelligence Wing, September 1, 2023."

    At 11:38 a.m. Jan. 23, 1958, two Air Force jets collided in mid-air, tens of thousands of feet over the densely populated Middlesex Fells area, just north of Boston. One was an F-94 Starfire out of the former Otis Air Force Base; the other a T-33 jet trainer from Stewart Air Force Base in Newburgh, New York.

    Both crews were on routine training flights.

    The Airmen of the F-94 consisted of the pilot, Izzea, 23, a native of Chester, Pennsylvania, and 1952 graduate of Chester High School, and his navigator, 1st Lt. John P. Horan, Chicago, Illinois.

    Izzea and Horan were members of the 60th Fighter Interceptor Squadron. The squadron still exists as the 60th Fighter Squadron assigned to the 33rd Fighter Wing, currently based at Eglin AFB, Florida. The squadron now flies the F-35A Lightning II.

    Both Airmen perished when their aircraft crashed behind a home in Arlington, Massachusetts. Eyewitness accounts reported Izzea may have been aiming for Arlington Reservoir, to avoid the densely populated neighborhood.

    The crew of the T-33 was made up of Captain William D. Bridges and Lt. Harold Woldmoe; both of whom survived the accident.

    Shortly after the crash, Otis Air Force Base officials made the decision to name a street after Izzea to recognize his ultimate sacrifice. Izzea Street still carries his name, 65 years after his death.

    An alumnus of Pennsylvania Military College, Izzea was remembered in a 1959 issue of the school's bulletin that read, "THE MEMORY of Lt. Joseph G. Izzea, '54, a heroic jet pilot, will be kept alive by a shrine and a street in Massachusetts, where he met his death while steering his jet away from a populated area following a crash with another jet. A street was named for him at Otis Air Force Base, Cape Cod, and a religious shrine erected for him at the Arlington, Mass., spot where he crashed."

    The sacrifices made by Airmen like 1st. Lt. Joseph G. Izzea serve as inspiration for the Airmen of today's Air Force. Airmen that raise their hand and swear allegiance to the Constitution of the United States of America, with the understanding that, if necessary, put themselves in harm's way to protect the ideals it represents.



    Date Taken: 09.01.2023
    Date Posted: 09.05.2023 14:28
    Story ID: 452765

    Web Views: 134
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