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Horsham, Pa. Air Guard Commander injured in S.C. plane crash

Release Number: 011021

The commander of the 111th Attack Wing and Biddle Air National Guard Base in Horsham, Pennsylvania, Col. Deane Thomey, was seriously injured in a single-engine plane crash October 22, 2021 in Colleton County, South Carolina. His 24-year-old daughter, Madeline, was killed in the crash.


Thomey is currently being treated in the intensive care unit at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.


“Please keep the Thomey family in your thoughts and prayers,” said Col. Rebecca Gray, 111th ATKW Vice Commander, in a message to the unit. “Together we will support one another, Col. Thomey’s wife and his daughters through this difficult time.”


Thomey was piloting a privately-owned Piper PA-28R-300 airplane when it went down in the vicinity of Walterboro, South Carolina. The National Transportation Safety Board is currently investigating the cause of the crash.


Thomey, a native of Sherwood, Arkansas, took command of the 111th ATKW April 1, 2021, after an assignment as the Director, Air National Guard Director’s Action Group (DAG), Office of the Director of the Air National Guard, the Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia.


Thomey originally enlisted in the Arkansas Air National Guard in 1988 and was assigned to the 123rd Reconnaissance Technical Squadron, Little Rock Air Force Base. In 1992, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. upon graduating from the Academy of Military Science, McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base, Knoxville, Tennessee.


Thomey attended pilot training at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi, graduating in November 1996.