Air Force second lieutenant Travis Wilkie, a 2018 graduate of the Air Force Academy, was killed in a training accident Thursday, Nov. 21, at Vance Air Force Base in Enid, Okla.
Wilkie, a native of San Diego, died in an aircraft mishap Thursday while he was going through undergraduate pilot training. The cause of the accident, which involved two planes, is under investigation.
"There are no words that can ease the pain of such a loss," Air Force baseball head coach Mike Kazlausky said. "Travis's energy, cheerfulness, and genuineness made him the friend everyone loved, the teammate everyone leaned on, and the man that everyone admired. His irreplaceable character makes this tragedy even more painful for those who knew and loved Travis, and it will fuel all of us to continue to love and honor Travis for the rest of our lives. Words cannot adequately express what an amazing young man and teammate Travis was and what he meant to our baseball family. Our hearts are broken."
Wilkie was a three-year letterwinner (2015-16, 18). He appeared in 119 games, starting 102 as a catcher, including all 52 as a freshman and 37 as a sophomore. He collected 80 hits in his three seasons, including 21 for extra bases, while driving in 42 runners. He was also solid in the finer points of the game, accumulating a .980 fielding percentage, including 50 runners caught stealing.
He twice ranked second in the Mountain West Conference in runners caught stealing. He also finished his AF career with 16 sac bunts, including 10 his freshman year. The 10 ranked second in a single season, while the 16 are tied for the fifth-most in a career.
Wilkie earned a degree in systems engineering with a focus on factors engineering. He was named to the Academic All-Mountain West Team all three years he played.
"The Academy family is grieving a deeply felt loss today," the academy said in a statement. "We are incredibly saddened to hear of the tragic news out of Vance Air Force Base, where two Airmen were killed in a T-38 crash yesterday morning, including 2018 graduate 2nd Lt Travis Wilkie. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Travis' family, friends and the entire Vance AFB community during this unimaginably difficult time. A cadet, a student, and an athlete, Travis made a profound impact upon those he knew here at USAFA. Words cannot even begin to describe how greatly he will be missed by his Academy and Air Force family."