Saturday, October 16, 2010

For the Crew of Aircraft King 56

I ordered a Memorial Bracelet to Honor the crew of Aircraft King 56 which was an HC130- P Combat Rescue Aircraft. She was based out of Portland, Oregon with the 939th Rescue Wing. I had just returned 2 weeks prior to the 22 Nov 1996 from a 4 month TDY supporting operation Northern Watch, Turkey with this same aircraft. I would have been with these guys, but I had 3 small kids at the time and a wife that needed my attention after being gone for 4 months. The Crew was a highly experienced crew and I was close to many of them. On 22 Nov 1996 King 56 lost power due to mechanical malfunctions from improper maintenance procedures performed at their home base. Unfortunately, they were over 60 miles off the coast of Northern California at night. They tried to make land, but couldn't and crashes into the Pacific Ocean killing 10 with one survivor.

In April of 96 I trained with most of that crew in the USAF C-130 Advanced Tactical Training Course. That is a course where you fly as low and fast as you can to the ground and through the canyons of Arizona while being chases by F 16 fighters. I can't go into other details but we were never hit by the F 16's or ground fire. The Evaluator instructor was impressed how well we worked as a crew. We as a Crew worked as one which is hard to find. They were the best crew I have ever flown with, some I looked at as Brothers. The USAF did not Honor these great guys not to bring attention to the improper maintenance, but I think of them every day. I have missed them ever since! I Especially missed them on operational Rescue missions /Tactical missions and especially in Iraq and points east. I didn't know what happened to the bracelet and email until my daughter gave it to me for Christmas.

My flying days are over now due to medical injuries and medical mistakes from my Iraq tour in 2003. I remember the boys of King 56 and they were the best! They were Heroes and will always be remembered by me!

To honor the Aircraft itself, we rescuef 3 Canadians 200 miles off the Nova Scotia coast on our way back from Turkey. Their lobster boat caught fire before they could send out a distress call. We (different crew) just happened to be flying over and by the grace of God saw their smoke at 28,000 Ft and initiated the rescue.

TSgt Joseph A. M.
USAF Combat Rescue (retired)

Friday, October 08, 2010

For My Uncle who was a Vietnam P.O.W.

My uncle was a huey pilot during the Vietnam War. He got shot down and was held in captivity for two years. I wear this P.O.W Bracelet to remember what he gave for his country.