Christopher Andrew Bahl, #915, 1971 – 1999
An active-duty Air Force captain and F-15E pilot at the time of his death, Chris graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1994 and was a member of Texas Wing. He died in Lakenheath, England, of injuries sustained in an auto accident. He was 27, and leaves behind a wife and two children.
Chris was honored posthumously with the Distinguished Flying Cross for his role in a mission in support of operations in Kosovo. Squadron mates from the 492d Fighter Squadron, 48th Fighter Wing, held ceremonies awarding the medal after his death. His other decorations included the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Aerial Achievement Medal and the Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters.
Scott Lanis, #1179, writes:
“Chris was very much my senior at the Academy–he graduated the year I was a freshman. We had the opportunity to fly together to Leadville, Colorado, in a CAP airplane–with proper CFI supervision, of course–my friend and mentor, [CAP Major] Dailey Bugg. Leadville is the highest airport in the continental US, 9927 feet above sea level.
“I remember Chris as an outstanding pilot–he was one of the top cadet glider instructor pilots at the Academy. I believe he was selected to attend Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training. My guess is that he graduated very near, if not, the top–F-15Es are hard to come by, especially in those years when very few people got fighters, much less the top pick.”