United States Air Force C-141 Crew
Laid To Rest In Arlington National Cemetery
by Staff Sgt. Michael Dorsey Air Force News Service
Released: Apr 6, 1998
of the nine airmen who perished September 13, 1997 in a mid-air collision
between an Air Force C-141 and German Tupolev 154 off the coast of Africa
were laid to rest April 2, 1998 in a group burial at Arlington National
In a full-honors funeral, a stream of airmen followed the horse-drawn carriage to pay their respects to Captain Peter Vallejo, Captain Gregory Cindrich, Captain Jason Ramsey, Staff Sergeants Robert Evans, Scott Roberts and Stacy Bryant, and Senior Airmen Gary Bucknam, Justin Drager and Frankie Walker.
Eight pallbearers from the Air Force Honor Guard carried the casket. A full-honors service includes of a band, bugler, caisson, firing party, honor guard flight, pallbearers, color team and flag bearer. Attending survivors received American flags during the ceremony.
The crash claimed 33 lives. Twenty-four were aboard the German aircraft. Eight of the nine C-141 crewmen were from the 13th Airlift Squadron, McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey. Walker was from the 305th Aircraft Generation Squadron at McGuire.
The C-141 had delivered U.S. soldiers and mine-clearing equipment to Windhoek Field, Namibia, before departing for Ascension Island. An Air Force accident investigation board concluded that the German aircraft was flying at the wrong cruise altitude, causing the crash.
Photo Courtesy of Roxsanne Wells-Layton, September 2006
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