Man visits late father's plane crash site near Big Bear Lake

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A man visited the Big Bear Lake site where his father, a Navy pilot whom he never knew, crashed 54 years ago.

Jack Joynson Jr. has waited over half a century for closure.

In 1960, his father, a U.S. Navy pilot also named Jack, died during a training mission near Big Bear Lake when he was 24 years old. His plane, a U.S. Navy Douglas AD-6 Skyraider, crashed in a nearby canyon on July 6, 1960.

Twenty-two days later, his son, Jack, was born. Now, 54 years later, Jack is finally connecting with his dad.

"Just getting to know him and to understand the scenario of his death is important to me," Jack said.

On Friday, he made the trip to the crash site with the help of Pat Macha and Project Remembrance, a volunteer group that helps families find crash sites and memorialize their loved ones.

"We view this as a duty in a sense to those who have served our country and paid the highest price," Patrick said.

Getting to the plane wreckage wasn't easy for Jack and Patrick, but worth it.

"To know my biological dad, to see the actual location, to come to closure on his activities and his flying career," Jack said.

Jack actually doesn't know much about his dad, but he did study engineering. His dad wanted to be an engineer, and both of them were in the Navy. Jack joining exactly 18 years after his father's death.

"I fulfilled a 20-year career as a Surface Warfare Officer," Jack said. "He did the aircraft, I did the ships."

Now after making this trip, Jack can finally close this lingering chapter in his life.

"I'm feeling a little bit relieved that we've gotten through the day and everything went as planned. It's just a great feeling of joy," Jack said.

For more information on Project Remembrance, visit www.aircraftwrecks.com.

Related Topics:
familynavyplane crashBig Bear Lake
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