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Pilot from Montana dies in Navy jet fighter crash

Lt. Richard "Max" Bullock
Posted at 7:55 PM, Jun 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-07 22:11:10-04

A Montana native has been identified as the pilot who died in a jet fighter crash in the southern California desert on Friday, June 3, 2022.

Lt. Richard "Max" Bullock died Friday afternoon after his F/A-18E Super Hornet crashed during a routine training mission near Trona, Calif., according to KERO in Bakersfield. Bullock was assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 113, based at Naval Air Station Lemoore in California, according to KERO.

Bullock's home of record was Montana, and the tragedy of his death is compounded for his family and friends by knowing about his sibling.

He was the brother of Jeremy Bullock, who died in April 1994 after being shot by a fellow young student at Margaret Leary Elementary School in Butte.

It’s the latest tragedy for a family that’s endured more tragedy than one family should.

“You look at someone like Max who’s a hero, serving our country and tragically killed in a plane wreck while serving this country,” said Butte Chief Executive J.P. Gallagher.

He continued, “The family has done nothing but give back to our community, and they’ve provided a Safe School Summit, and they're the ones who kind of had the incentive for the Jeremy Bullock Fields. Now, with this tragedy, it’s our time to reach out to them and support them in their time of grief.”

Max was the son of Bill and Robin Bullock and also the nephew of former Montana governor Steve Bullock.

The Bullock family said in a news release: “Max was an irreplaceable son and brother, and a friend to everyone he encountered. His optimism and energy were contagious, and his love of service to others and his country shone through in everything he did.“

The family added funeral services will be in Montana and will be announced at a later date.

According to KERO, the cause of the crash is still being investigated.