Michael J. Mark

An F-15A accident in Germany claimed the life of 1st Lt. Michael James Mark, Class of 1975, on 6 July 1978. He is survived by his parents, Col. And Mrs. Leon G. Mark, of 1775 West, 4500 South, Roy UT 84067, and by his sister Stacy.

As a cadet, Mike participated in the Russian, History, and Geography Clubs as well as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He was on the Superintendent’s List during all eight semesters of his enrollment at the Academy and during his first class year served as the Deputy Wing Commander. Perhaps the place where Mike felt the most at home while at USAFA was on the football field. Teammates, coaches and fans alike will always remember his electrifying and daring style of play; a style Ben Martin termed “gutsy,” a style which earned him the Athletic Leadership Award as well as the Most Valuable Back Award. His exuberance on the football field was exemplary of his attitude toward life; he played to win. Mike will be missed by all those whose lives he touched, but the loss of Number 44 will be especially felt by those associated with AF football.

Mike completed UPT at Columbus AFB, and was subsequently stationed at Holloman AFB, Luke AFB, and Bitburg AB.

The AOG has established a memorial fund in his name.

Joe Bunecke ’78  |  July 1978





Photographs and Memories


I wanted to honor one of your members that passed away in July of 1978, 1st Lieutenant Mike Mark. 

I was in EOD stationed in Germany and I was assigned to recover his body after the crash. This was the first of unfortunately several I was on. I never forgot him though. 

My son Shannon Paul Biela passed away at the USAFA in 1997 class of 2000. It always brings me some peace when he is remembered and I wanted to honor one of yours. 

– Dave Biela, USAF 1975-1982
(May 2017)