Bronze C-130 Memorial To Be Unveiled At Air Station Sacramento


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Bronze C-130 Memorial To Be Unveiled At Air Station Sacramento

By Mike Mitchell

October 28, 2011 - The United States Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento will hold a remembrance ceremony where a bronze C-130 will be dedicated to honor nine aviators lost during a tragic mid-air collision off the coast of San Diego two years ago.

The crews being memorialized were from Sacramento-based Coast Guard Rescue aircraft 1705 and San Diego-based Marine Corps helicopter Vengeance 38.

Coast Guard District Eleven Commander, Rear Admiral Joseph Castillo, will serve as the presiding official for the ceremony on Saturday at 10 AM. 

Guests will include Coast Guardsmen from throughout the country, service members from other military branches, community leaders as well as the family of the fallen members. 

On October 29, 2009, the Coast Guard received a call just after 3 PM indicating that a resident of Santa Catalina Island, California had been missing for two days after he had gone to assist a friend who was having trouble with her boat holding anchor in strong winds. 

About 3:30 PM the Coast Guard dispatched a Lockheed HC-130 aircraft (call sign 1750) out of McClellan Air Park in Sacramento with seven onbaord. It reached the San Diego coast around 4:45 PM to begin the search for Santa Catalina Island resident at an attitude of about 1,000 feet. 

The Lockheed HC-130 is an extended-range, search and rescue (SAR) and Combat search and rescue (CSAR) version of the C-130 Hercules transport. The HC-130H and HC-130J versions are operated by the United States Coast Guard in a SAR and maritime reconnaissance role. 

The Coast Guard HC-130 had been searching for the missing boater for about two hours, at about 7 PM the Coast Guard HC-130 aircraft collided with a Marine Corps AH-1 Cobra helicopter (call sign 38) that had a crew of two. The AH-1 Cobra was on a training mission out of Camp Pendleton. Authorities reported at the time, the collision occurred during clear weather about 15 miles east of San Clemente Island, about 50 miles off the San Diego coast.

Seven Coast Guardsmen and two Marines lost their lives on that day. They were: Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Che Barnes, Lt. Adam Bryant, Chief Petty Officer John Seidman, Petty Officer Carl Grigonis, Petty Officer Monica Beacham, Petty Officer Jason Moletzsky, and Petty Officer Danny Kreder, Marine Corps Maj. Samuel Leigh and First Lt. Thomas Claiborne.

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