PRESS RELEASE – SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. – Family and friends of Capt. William Jarman Jr., an F-4 Phantom pilot with the 335th Tactical Fighter Squadron during the 1960s, visited the base to connect with the squadron that Jarman dedicated his life to.Jarman flew approximately 100 combat missions during the Vietnam War and tragically died in 1969 during an aircraft collision over Fort Bragg, North Carolina.The visitors toured the base and spent a lot of time with the Airmen of the 335th FS, learning their mission and what life in the Air Force is like.“My whole life, I’ve been chasing this man; who he was, what he did,” said Sean Jarman, William’s son. “I have his jacket and his flight suit, but I don’t know who he was. I’ve always wondered why he chose to be a fighter pilot. Who was this man, and why was he willing to make that kind of sacrifice?”
Jarman flew during some of the heaviest fighting of the Vietnam War, participating in the Allies’ response to the Tet Offensive. After two tours, the accomplished combat pilot was assigned to the 335th TFS. While he was preparing for another trip to Vietnam with the 335th TFS, Jarman was involved in the tragic collision that claimed his life.At the base’s Heritage Park stands an F-15E Strike Eagle memorial fountain. The fountain is surrounded by bricks bearing the names of heroes from the base’s past. A ceremony was held during the family and friend’s visit, dedicating two bricks to Jarman’s legacy, which are inscribed with his name and service details.
“Seeing the bricks dedicated to my father was a real honor,” Sean said. “I’m glad he could be recognized after all these years. It wasn’t until last night at dinner, with my family all around me, that I realized my father died doing what he loved, flying and protecting this great nation.”Sean thanked the 335th FS for their diligence in keeping his father’s memory alive. He said the visit allowed him to experience what a day in the life of his father might have been like.
“It was an honor to host the family and friends of Capt. William Jarman,” said Lt. Col. Todd Dyer, 335th FS commander. “His service to our country and the 335th Fighter Squadron is immeasurable. He was an incredible warrior whose achievements paved the way for our Airmen today.”