United States Marine Corps Captain Matthew W. Bancroft was one of seven Marines who died on January 9, 2002 when the KC-130 tanker plane he was piloting crashed into a mountain near Shamsi, Pakistan. Capt. Bancroft was assigned to Marine Aerial Transport Refueler Squadron 352.

He attended Burney High School, graduating from the regional school in 1990 and later earning the nickname “Burney” among his comrades from his hometown area.  After high school, Bancroft attended the United States Naval Academy, graduating with a B.S. in economics and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps in 1994. He went on to log more than 1500 flight hours during his career in flight, earning his wings of gold in 1996 and rising through the ranks to  become a Captain. He is survived by his wife, as well as three young children.

“I always used to ask him ‘Why do you have to go?’” said Bancroft’s 12-year-old stepson to the crowd of 300 at the late Captain’s funeral. “He answered ‘I am fighting for our country.’ Before he left, he told me to take care of our family.”

Capt. Matthew Bancroft was honored by the Travis Manion Foundation Character Does Matter program presented during the USNA’s Summer Seminar and USNA STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Camp for rising 11th graders.

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