NORFOLK, Va. - Four F/A-18 “Super Hornets” conducted a Missing Man Flyover formation to honor the late Sen. John McCain at his internment on the grounds of the United States Naval Academy Sunday.
A release from the Naval Air Force Atlantic states that the missing man formation is a salute performed as part of flypast of aircraft at a funeral or memorial event in memory of a deceased aviator. One airplane in a four-plane formation pulled up vertical to signify the passing of the aviator’s soul to the heavens.
The participating squadrons were Strike Fighter Squadron -31 (VFA-31), the “Tomcatters”; VFA-32 “Swordsmen”; VFA-105 “Gunslingers” and VFA-87 “War Party.”
McCain was a naval aviator who was shot down over Vietnam and held prisoner for more than five years. He was awarded the Silver Star Medal following his release.
He died Saturday, August 25 at the age of 81 after battling brain cancer. His career in Washington, following his time in the military, spanned 40 years.