Based: Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif.
Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 352
Supporting: Operation Enduring Freedom
Died: January 9, 2002
Mountain near Shamsi, Pakistan
Married, 3 children
High School: Burney Junior-Senior High (Burney)
Burial: Monterey City Cemetery, Monterey, Calif.
Bob and Beverly Bancroft sank into a living room couch Thursday, a day after the news came. Matt's sister, 26-year-old Sarah, listened, forlornly holding her baby.Read the entire LA Times article about Marine Captain Matthew W. Bancroft here, and read more here, here and here.
Despite the temptation, they refused to call their son a hero. They will leave that to others.
"That was Matt--tall, straight and proud," his father said between sobs. "That was our son. That's the way he went down."
The 29-year-old Marine was one of seven Marines killed when the plane Bancroft was piloting crashed into a mountain in Pakistan.
At his home base, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, he left his wife of two years, MaryEllen, their 9-month-old daughter, Maddie, and her two sons, Sean, 13, and Christian, 12.
Despite his love of the Marines, Bancroft had begun thinking last fall about starting a new chapter and leaving the service.
But the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks derailed any plans he had of mustering out, his parents said. The subsequent decline in air travel and resulting layoffs squelched any easy move into commercial aviation. And he wanted to join the fight with his comrades.
"He wanted to go," Bob Bancroft said. "That's his job. He wanted to be part of the team."
Bancroft left for Afghanistan in December. He promised his family all would be OK, that he was safe. And they took him at his word.
Visit Captain Bancroft's Guest Book here.