SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Coast Guard personnel in Sacramento hosted a remembrance service Tuesday for the 10th anniversary of an aircraft collision between a USCG HC-130 Hercules aircraft and a Marine Corps AH-1 Super Cobra helicopter.
Coast Guard Rear Adm. Peter Gautier, the 11th Coast Guard District commander presided over the ceremony.
«Each day, across the world, women and men in the military leave comfortable surroundings, from homes and garrisons, to perform missions that put themselves in harm’s way, to serve others – to save lives, defend our nation and uphold our values,» said Gautier. «So just as they served us, it is only right that we remember them and honor their legacy.»
While conducting a search and rescue mission near San Clemente Island on Oct. 29, 2009, Coast Guard 1705, an HC-130 Hercules aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento, and a Marine Corps AH-1 Super Cobra helicopter from the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing stationed at the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton were involved in a mid-air collision.
«The crew of Coast Guard Rescue 1705 is part of our identity, the very fabric of our unit, and what it means to serve in the Coast Guard and to serve our nation,» said Capt. John McCarthy, the Air Station Sacramento commanding officer. «We honor their legacy, their memory and their sacrifice through our dedication, our professionalism and our vigilance – recognizing the inherent danger in what we do, and always striving to do it better.»
That night, the Coast Guard lost Lt. Cmdr. Che Barnes, Lt. Adam Bryant, Chief Petty Officer John Seidman, Petty Officer 2nd Class Carl Grigonis, Petty Officer 2nd Class Monica Beacham, Petty Officer 2nd Class Jason Moletzsky and Petty Officer 3rd Class Danny Kreder. The Marine Corps lost Maj. Samuel Leigh and 1st Lt. Thomas Claiborne.