Air Force Will Not Court-Martial Illinois Pilots

Washington, D.C. – The Air Force won't court-martial two Illinois pilots who mistakenly bombed Canadian troops last year, killing four in Afghanistan. That's according to a senior defense official who spoke only on the condition of anonymity.

Majors Harry Schmidt, a St. Louis native, and William Umbach had been charged with involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault and dereliction of duty. They faced up to 64 years in prison if convicted in a court-martial. The defense official says the Air Force official who reviewed the case decided that both pilots should not face criminal prosecution but receive non-judicial punishment.

An Air Force judge who presided over a military hearing in January recommended that all criminal charges against the pilots be dropped.