The Navy has released the identity of the pilots killed when their T-45C aircraft crashed in Tellico Plains, Tennessee, Oct. 1.
Lt. Patrick L. Ruth, 31, of Metairie, Louisiana, and Lt. j.g. Wallace E. Burch, 25, of Horn Lake, Mississippi, died when their aircraft went down in the Cherokee National Forest in eastern Tennessee. Lt. Burch attended Officer Candidate School in Newport, R.I., in 2014 and was commissioned in January 2015.
Both pilots were assigned to the “Eagles” of Training Squadron (VT) 7 based at Naval Air Station Meridian, Mississippi. Ruth had been in the Navy for nine years and was a member of VT-7 since 2015. Burch had been in the Navy for nearly three years and was a member of VT-7 since 2016.
An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the mishap.