McGeehan, Lt. Col. Mark C. 10 Jan 1956 – 24 Jun 1994

Source: Lou Holtz/Uppper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame

Lt. Col. Mark C. McGeehan
A selfless man of faith and family, U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Mark C.
McGeehan died June 24, 1994 protecting those under his command from a rogue
senior pilot.
Lt. Col. McGeehan’s willingness to give the last full measure of his life
to spare others is testimony of his leadership and commitment to do right.
Born in East Liverpool Jan. 10, 1956, McGeehan was reared in Chester, one
of nine children. Upon graduation from Oak Glen High School in 1974, he attended
the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., where he received his
commission in 1978. His professional military education also included Squadron
Officer School, where he was a distinguished graduate, and Air and Command and
Staff College.
A senior pilot and instructor with more than 31,000 flying hours, Lt. Col.
McGeehan advanced through the ranks, serving in such capacities as aide-de-camp
to the commander; a faculty member of Air Command and Staff College, where he
was chief of the military history and doctrine branch; operations officer of the
325th Squadron; and finally, commander of the 325th Bomb Squadron at Fairchild
Air Force Base.
It was while serving as commander, that Lt. Col. McGeehan faced a
challenging dilemma. After receiving numerous complaints from his junior
aircrews about the unsafe flying habits of one of the wing’s senior pilots not
under his command, McGeehan took evidence of the maverick pilot’s recklessness
to the wing leadership, using the appropriate chain of command, and requested
the pilot be grounded. Lt. Col. McGeehan’s request was denied.
With the denial, McGeehan took the remaining option available to protect
his pilots and order that on one under his command was to fly with the maverick
pilot. If a co-pilot was needed, McGeehan said that he would go.
On June 24, 1994 in preparation for an air show Lt. Col. McGeehan was
co-piloting a B-52H bomber when the rogue pilot exceeded flight restrictions for
the craft. The bomber sideslipped into the ground, killing everyone on board,
the pilot, two crewmembers and Lt. Col. McGeehan.
The decorated lieutenant colonel who was active as a Boy Scout leader,
Little League Coach and the Catholic Church, left behind his sons, Patrick,
Brendan and Collin, and his wife, Jodie A. McIntosh.
Ironically, just weeks before his death as Lt. Col. McGeehan was preparing
to hand over the unit flag of the 325th Bomb Squadron for deactivation on July
1, he wrote in an article that was printed June 10, 1994 in the military
publication Strikehawk:
“When we think of those who went before us, we should do so with humility,
respecting their great personal sacrifice. When we honor our heritage and those
with whom we share a common bond and purpose, we are all enriched, and our lives
are made a little more worth living.”