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upperclassman

LeRoy Homer Jr.

LeRoy Wilton Homer Jr. (August 27, 1965 - September 11, 2001) was the First Officer of United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed into a reclaimed coal-mining area near Stonycreek and Shanksville on September 11 2001.

He grew up on Long Island in New York where he always dreamed of flying. As a child, he assembled model airplanes, collected aviation memorabilia and read books on aviation. He was 15 years old when he started flight instruction in Cessna 152. Working part-time jobs after school to pay for flying lessons, he completed his first solo at 16 years old and obtained his private pilot's certificate in 1983.

LeRoy graduated Ss. Cyril and Methodius School in 1979 and St. John the Baptist Diocesan High School in 1983.

On 6 July 1983, he entered the United States Air Force Academy as a member of the class of 1987. As an upperclassman, he was a member of Cadet Squadron 31. He graduated on 27 May 1987 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the US Air Force.

After completing USAF pilot training in 1988, he was assigned to McGuire AFB in New Jersey, flying the Lockheed C-141B Starlifter. While on active duty, Homer served in the Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield and later supported operations in Somalia. He received many commendations, awards and medals during his military career. In 1993, he was named the Twenty-First Air Force "Aircrew Instructor of the Year". Homer achieved the rank of captain before his honorable discharge from active duty in 1995.

Homer continued his military career as a member of the US Air Force Reserve, initially as an instructor pilot with the 356th Airlift Squadron at Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio, then subsequently as an Academy Liaison Officer, recruiting potential candidates for both the United States Air Force Academy and the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps. During his time with the Reserves, he achieved the rank of major.

LeRoy continued his flying career by joining United Airlines in May 1995. His first assignment was Second Officer on the Boeing 727. He then upgraded to First Officer on the Boeing 757/Boeing 767 in 1996, where he remained until September 11, 2001.

He married Melodie on May 24, 1998 and his first child, Laurel was born in late 2000.

On September 11 2001, Homer was flying with Captain Jason M. Dahl on United Airlines Flight 93, which was hijacked by four terrorists while in flight from Newark to San Francisco. The aircraft was crashed by the terrorists after the crew and passengers tried to regain control.

For his actions on board Flight 93, Homer received many awards and citations posthumously, including honorary membership in the historic Tuskegee Airmen, the Congress Of Racial Equality's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference Drum Major for Justice Award, and the Westchester County Trailblazer Award. He is survived by his wife, Melodie, his daughter, Laurel, along with his mother, seven sisters, brother, and many other family.

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