Fallen airmen will be remembered in SD
Published: Thursday, July 11th, 2013
It’s impossible for any words to pass through my lips to thank you enough,” said S.D. Lt. Gov. Matt Michels to family members of the N.C. Air National Guard C-130 crew who were killed or injured in a crash in the Southern Black Hills last July 1.
“I want to tell you that your family members will always be remembered. I really want you to remember this place and that we, the people of South Dakota, love you. This site was built to honor them and to comfort you,” Michels said.
Michels and other dignitaries spoke at an Interpretive Site Dedication Ceremony held a year to the date after the crash last year that killed four of the six crew members and critically injured two others.
Guard members from both states, along with local dignitaries, attended the 11 a.m. ceremony which was held at the site. The list of those invited was limited to 100 because of the small size of the area.
Two impressive interpretive signs were unveiled at the ceremony, one telling the story of the C-130 firefighting crew and the other telling about the White Draw Fire itself.
From the site, it is possible to see the area where the plane went down about two miles to the west.
The 6:30 p.m. accident that day reportedly was the result of a severe downdraft in the area that caused the low-flying aircraft to crash.
Killed were pilot Lt. Col. Paul K. Mikeal, Mooresville, N.C.; pilot Maj. Joseph M. McCormick, Belmont, N.C.; navigator Maj. Ryan S. David, Boone, N.C.; and flight engineer Senior MSgt. Robert S. Cannon, Charlotte, N.C.
MSgt. Josh Marlowe, Shelby, N.C., was flown by helicopter to nearby Rapid City Regional Hospital with unspecified injuries, as was Chief MSgt. Andy Huneycutt, who was present at the ceremony. He was then flown to the Jaycee Burn Center Memorial Hospital at Chapel Hill, N.C.
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