Capt. Thomas J. “Lag” Gramith

This page is in Honor and Memory of Capt. Thomas J. “Lag” Gramith

Capt. Thomas J. “Lag” Gramith flew on the F-15E Strike Eagle with the 336th Fighter Squadron “Rocketeers” at Seymour-Johnson AFB. In 2009, Capt. Gramith deployed to Bagram AB, Afghanistan.

On July 18, 2009 Capt. Thomas J. “Lag” Gramith (WSO ) was flying with (Pilot) Capt. Mark R. “Pitbull” McDowell in F-15E (90-0231) on a combat mission in support of coalition operations when their aircraft went down.

A team of U.S. and coalition forces where immediately responded to the crash site, secured it and recovered the Airmen.

The flight of two F-15E’s were near the end of a night CAS sortie when they got permission to practice high-angle strafing runs over a dry lake bed while wearing night-vision goggles in low illumination. The planes wouldn’t fire rounds, but would practice approaches and targeting. During the practise attack run the F-15E of Capt. Mark R. “Pitbull” McDowell and Capt. Thomas J. “Lag” Gramith impacted the ground killing both Capt. Gramith and Capt. McDowell.


Capt. Thomas J. Gramith died while Serving in Afghanistan Survived by his loving wife Angie; twin daughters Stella and Eva; father Frederick (Cynthia) Gramith, MD; mother Dr. Patricia (Robert) O’Kane-Trombley; grandfather Dr. Thomas O’Kane; sisters Kathryn (Don) Stevens, Liesl O’Kane; brother Patrick Gramith; step-sisters Roberta (Jeremy) Perrone, SK2 Karrin Trombley, Brionna, Rebekah, and Amber West; step-brothers Michael Trombley and Matthew West; father and mother-in-law Joseph and Betty Rybarczyk; brothers and sisters-in-law Victoria Rybarczyk, Anne (Earl) Gray, Michael (Mary) Rybarczyk, Kevin (Charlene) Rybarczyk, Theresa (Ron) Engstrand, and Jennifer (John) Selenske; and many other loving relatives and friends. Preceded in death by grandparents Helen O’Kane, Clifford and LuVern Gramith. Graduated from St. Thomas Academy in 2000 and North Dakota State University in 2005