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9/11 and North Dakota’s F-16


What started out as an ordinary day on the morning of September 11, 2001 quickly became anything but for Brad Derrig and two other F-16 pilots of North Dakota's 119th Fighter Wing. Shortly after the attack on the Twin Towers, the three North Dakota fighter jets were scrambled from their unit's alert detachment at Langley Air Force Base to intercept hijacked airliners over New York and Washington DC.

In recognition of their service on 9/11, Lt. Col. Brad Derrig flew the same F-16 one final time in December of 2006. Taking off from Fargo, the fighter jet landed at McChord Air Force Base Museum in Tacoma, Washington. There the F-16 remains on permanent display, serving as a reminder of the crucial role North Dakota's Air National Guard plays in keeping the nation safe.

Dakota Datebook written by Christina Sunwall


"F-16 Last Flight", KXMBTV Bismarck, December 26, 2006,;

"Foundation Member Helps "Land" A F-16 for Wads", The Rid Chord: McChord Air Museums Online Newsletter,

"The Happy Hooligan's Role in Sept 11, 2001 Video", 119th Wing: History,