LeRoy Homer Jr.
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LeRoy Homer Jr.
LeRoy Wilton Homer Jr.
August 27, 1965
Plainview, New York, U.S.
|Died||September 11, 2001 (aged 36)|
|Cause of death||Terrorist attack|
|Known for||First officer of United Airlines Flight 93|
LeRoy Wilton Homer Jr. (August 27, 1965 – September 11, 2001) was the First Officer of United Airlines Flight 93, which was hijacked as part of the September 11 attacks in 2001, and crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, killing all 37 passengers and seven crewmembers, including LeRoy.
Homer, son of a West German woman and an American soldier who was stationed in West Germany, grew up on Long Island in New York, where he always dreamed of flying. As a child, he assembled model airplanes, collected aviation memorabilia and read books on aviation. He was 15 years old when he started flight instruction in a Cessna 152. Working part-time jobs after school to pay for flying lessons, he completed his first solo trip at the age of 16 and obtained his private pilot's certificate in 1983.
He entered the United States Air Force Academy as a member of the class of 1987. As an upperclassman, he was a member of Cadet Squadron 31. He graduated on May 27, 1987, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force.
After completing his USAF pilot training in 1988, he was assigned to McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey, flying a Lockheed C-141 Starlifter. While on active duty, he served in the Gulf War and later supported operations in Somalia. He received many commendations, awards and medals during his military career. In 1993, he was named the Twenty-First Air Force "Aircrew Instructor of the Year". Homer achieved the rank of captain before his honorable discharge from active duty in 1995 and his acceptance of a reserve commission in order to continue his career as an Air Force officer.
Homer continued his military career as a member of the U.S. Air Force Reserve, initially as a C-141 instructor pilot with the 356th Airlift Squadron at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, then subsequently as an Academy Liaison Officer, recruiting potential candidates for both the Air Force Academy and the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps. During his time in the Air Force Reserve, he achieved the rank of major.
He continued his flying career by joining United Airlines in May 1995. His first assignment was Second Officer on the Boeing 727. He then upgraded to First Officer on the Boeing 757/Boeing 767 in 1996, where he remained until September 11, 2001.
September 11 attacks
On September 11, 2001, Homer was flying with Captain Jason M. Dahl on United Airlines Flight 93 from Newark, New Jersey, to San Francisco. The plane was hijacked by four al-Qaeda terrorists as part of the September 11 attacks. Homer and Dahl struggled with the hijackers, which was transmitted to Air Traffic Control.
After learning of the earlier crashes at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the crew and passengers attempted to foil the hijacking and reclaim the aircraft. Given the uprising of crew and passengers, and knowing they would not make it to their intended target, which was the US Capitol, the hijackers instead chose to crash the plane into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Homer received many awards and citations posthumously, including honorary membership in the historic Tuskegee Airmen; the Congress of Racial Equality's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award; the Southern Christian Leadership Conference Drum Major for Justice Award; and the Westchester County Trailblazer Award.
He was survived by his wife, Melodie, and his only daughter, Laurel. Other family members include his mother, seven sisters, and his brother. His widow Melodie Homer established the LeRoy W. Homer Jr. Foundation, which awards scholarships related to aviation.
- Blanchfield, Mike (29 August 2011). "'I'm thinking about it all the time,' says Canadian wife of Flight 93 pilot". Toronto Star. Retrieved 30 October 2020.
They were married in 1998 at the Hamilton Mountain Seventh-day Adventist Church and settled in Marlton, N.J.
- Edwards, David (15 September 2010). "ALO Shares Memory of United 93 Co-Pilot". U.S. Air Force Academy. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
- "Pilot: LeRoy Homer Jr". Post-Gazette. 28 October 2001. Archived from the original on 18 September 2009. Retrieved 7 March 2009.
- "Leroy Homer AF Academy graduate called eternal optimist". Denver Post. Associated Press. September 16, 2001. p. 6. Retrieved November 19, 2008.
- Watson, George E. (September 2011). Teel, Oscar D. (ed.). "What Were You Doing September 11th, 2001" (PDF). Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 May 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
- KIRKLAND, HENNESSEY, LONGIETTI, GEORGE SONNEY, THOMAS V. BROWN, KORTZ, DiGIROLAMO, CALTAGIRONE, BROOKS, VEREB, MILLARD, O'NEILL, NEILSON, BRIGGS, TOEPEL, HESS, GOODMAN, FABRIZIO, HAHN, COX, FLECK, and BRADFORD (October 17, 2012). "Bill Text: PA HR833: 2011-2012: Regular Session: Introduced". United States. Cong. House. The General Assembly of Pennsylvania. LegiScan. Comp. 196th Cong., 2012 sess. HR 833. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Retrieved March 9, 2015.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
- "The LeRoy W. Homer Jr. Foundation". Retrieved 7 December 2018.
- "South Pool: Panel S-67: LeRoy W. Homer Jr". Memorial Guide: National 9/11 Memorial. Archived from the original on July 27, 2013. Retrieved October 28, 2011.
- Melodie Homer, From Where I Stand: Flight #93 Pilot's Widow Sets the Record Straight (ISBN 978-1936782741) (in English)
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