Tragedy struck both the United States Air Force and U.S. Navy communities last week when news broke that a veteran military pilot with 20 years of experience, Lt. Col. Ira S. “Shooter” Eadie was killed when his two-seater U-2 spy plane (1st Reconnaissance Squadron, 9th Reconnaissance Wing) crashed in northern California.

Not only was Eadie an airman, he was also a former Navy service member.

On Monday, loved ones assembled to honor the beloved aviator, at a local park in California. Candles were lit, a saxophone was blared, all in tribute to their fallen friend and neighbor. Just days before, Beale Air Force Base — where Eadie took off from that fateful day — officially honored him with a U-2 “christened in his name.”

You can see the plane and its message in the photograph above.

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The U-2’s nose art included a large American flag, with both Navy and Air Force wings. Eadie served in both services, with a combined service of 20 years, local news outlets reported. Four T-38 Talons launched after the U-2s to form a four-ship formation.

“This morning, we safely put the Dragon Lady back in the air over northern California,” Col. A.J. Werner, 9th Operations Group commander, said in a statement. The flight took off at 9:01 a.m. to mimic his last takeoff time.

“We took a pause from flying the U-2 locally over the last 72 hours in response to Tuesday’s incident,” Werner continued. “While we did not halt U-2 missions globally over that period, we need to take care of our family here at Beale [Air Force Base].”

To contribute to a fund that was setup to assist the Eadie family in this extremely hard and trying time, click here.

It’s nearing $100,000 in total contributions.