I write this blog with a heavy heart on Veterans Day in respect for our military's fallen heroes that have given their lives for our freedom. God bless the men and woman serving in our armed forces.
I recently attended the 8th Annual Wings Wheels and Rotors Expo on October 25, 2009. It was held at the Joint forces Training Base in Los Alamitos, California. I have been attending the FREE show since the inaugural show in 2001. It is an incredible show, featuring vintage World War II trainers, recon, fighters, and bombers. Current troop transports, search and rescue, jets and helicopters. There were many flying and skydiving demonstrations during the one day show.
Also more than 400 custom cars and trucks were on display with a vendor village selling all kinds of cool stuff. There was plenty for the spectators to see and do.
While strolling the aviation static displays I took notice of one particular aircraft. I was a massive Coast Guard C-130 Search and Rescue plane with its white fuselage with a diagonal florescent orange stripe around the fuselage and tail. The prop-jet aircraft attracted many spectators. As observed the crew explaining the workings of the C-130 they also were giving guided tours to parents and kids inside the aircraft. While standing around I snapped a couple of photos.
The following week on October 30 I was watching the late night news only to find out that a Coast Guard C-130 was searching for a missing boater near San Clemente Island about 50-miles off San Diego, California. The C-130 was in the process of continuing its search for the lost boater into the night. At the same time period a squadron of four helicopters were flying from Camp Pendleton north of San Diego. Two AH-1W Super Cobras were escorting two big CH-53E Super Stallion transport helicopters carrying Marines to San Clemente Island. At 7:10 pm Thursday evening the C-130 collided with one of the Super Cobras, sending them both into the waters off San Clemente Island. After a five-day search there were no survivors recovered.
Yes, unfortunately the C-130 1705 Sacramento I was photographing only six-days earlier was the plane and crew that was lost during the search for the missing boater off San Clemente Island. I still can't believe it... My thoughts and prayers go out to the crew families and friends of these fallen heroes.
U.S. Coast Guard C-130 1705 Sacramento
Pilot: Lt. Comdr. Chief J. Barnes of Capay, CA
Co-Pilot: Lt. Adam W. Bryant 28 of Crewe, VA
Chief Petty Officer John Seidman 43 of Stockton, CA
Petty Officer 2nd Class Carl P. Grigonis 35 of Mayfield, OH
Petty Officer 2nd Class Jason S. Moletzky 26 of Norristown PA
Petty Officer 3rd Class Danny R. Kreder II 22 of Elm Mott, TX
Petty Oficer 2nd Class Monica L. Beacham 29 of Decaturvile, TN
Pilot: Major Samuel Leight of Kennebec, Maine
Co-Pilot: 1st Lt. Thomas Claiborne of Douglas, Colorado