Like many of us, Captain William H. Dubois wanted to fly ever since he was a little boy. Moreover, it was important to him to serve his country. Known to the bros as “Pyro,” DuBois, 30, participated in ROTC in both high school and college. He was concerned about being able to join the Air Force or Navy when he was a teen, stemming from an accident which left a pin in his arm. He was an excellent student, played soccer, ran track, and was an accomplished horseman.

After graduating the University of Colorado with a Bachelor’s in Aerospace Engineering, he successfully entered the United States Air Force and earned a slot in Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training.  In this most recent assignment, DuBois served as a Flight Commander and Instructor Pilot in the 77 FS, a unit with a proud Wild Weasel heritage with recent deployments to Afghanistan and Libya in support of national security objectives.

“Will was so much more than a kick-ass fighter pilot,” his family said in a statement.

Photo courtesy of Dubois family friend
Photo courtesy of Dubois family friend

He is the newlywed husband to his wife Ashley, son of Donna and William “Ham” DuBois, and brother to his sister Devon. In Will’s world, his family always had the highest priority.

According to his mother, “Will was anything but generic. He made everyone around him better. I was a better person having him as my son.”

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Said his sister, Devon: “There is a hole in my heart that will never be able to be filled. I miss him terribly already and will every day for the rest of my life. He died doing what he loved, and I hope one day that will help give us some peace.”

Captain Dubois died while attempting to return to his operating base in the Middle East.

2014 has been a tough year for our FighterSweep Family and for the families of those that have been lost in these past few months. When you’re in the business of flying high-performance aircraft, death is a constant companion and we’ve all made our peace with it. That being said, the greatest weight is on those left behind, and no matter how often things like this happen, you either know that person, or are acquainted with someone that knows them, and it never gets easier. You feel every one in the depths of your soul.

Godspeed, Pyro. See you when I see you…

(Featured Image Courtesy: USAF)