Scott Nelson Germosen
Staff Sergeant, United States Marine Corps
Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 014-02
DOD IDENTIFIES SEVEN MARINES KILLED IN KC-130/R CRASH
The Department of Defense announced that the following Marines were killed as a result of the crash of a KC-130/R aircraft in Pakistan today:
Command Pilot: Captain Matthew
W. Bancroft, 29, of Shasta, California. He joined the Marine Corps
The Marines are assigned to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 352 (VMGR-352), the "Raiders." Elements of VMGR-352 are attached to Combined Task Force 58, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. VMGR-352 is home-based at the Marine Corps Air Station, Miramar, California.
The cause of the crash is under investigation.
Hero Buried In Arlington
Arlington, Virginia - Marine Staff Sergeant Scott Germosen received a last honor yesterday at Arlington National Cemetery, within eyesight of the Pentagon damaged by the terrorism that had sent him to war.
An officer read aloud his posthumous award, a Navy meritorious commendation for his service.
Germosen had pioneered the use of night vision goggles in low-flying aircraft and had helped train his squadron on the equipment, his comrades said.
At 37, the former Coram, New York, resident was gone, killed with six other Marines when their KC-130 cargo plane crashed in Pakistan January 9. Officials said the crash probably was an accident. He was a member of the Marine Aerial Refueling Squadron.
"No award, nothing in the world can ever compensate for the loss of my child," his mother, Myrna Washington of Coram, said she'd been thinking during the funeral. "He did die for a good cause, for the love of his country."
A Marine offered the red-bound award to Germosen's widow, Jennifer, and their 23-month-old daughter, Alyssa, who laid her right hand for several seconds over the commendation during the ceremonial presentation. In her mother's lap, the youngster sat quietly as an honor guard fired a salute, which made Washington jump but could not break her of the loud sobbing shaking her body.
There seemed so much to be learned about her
son, who had kept a lot of his
"He was very modest," she said. "He never told me about his Purple Heart. Do you believe that?"
After many of the mourners had trickled away, Germosen's widow sat alone for a few minutes, with a single Marine officer standing watch behind her.
"I can't let go," the widow had cried out to a circle of comforting relatives before the funeral.
"They were best friends," said Germosen's mother-in law, Bonnie Riley.
Since Germosen's death, Alyssa has asked "Where's Daddy?" and her mother has answered that "he's on a trip, and he went to heaven and he's with God," Riley said.
Less than a mile from Germosen's grave site,
the cranes over the Pentagon moved about the business of rebuilding. "It's
amazing," Nickie Stocks, the
Publication date: 20 June 2002
SAN DIEGO -- Human error likely caused the January crash of a refueling plane over Pakistan in which seven San Diego-based Marines were killed, according to a report released Wednesday.
The January 9, 2002, accident was the deadliest crash involving American forces during the U.S.-led effort to eradicate Osama bin Laden's terrorist network.
Investigators found that the KC-130 flight crew likely became disoriented while attempting a night landing in difficult conditions at an airfield in southwestern Pakistan, where the plane slammed into a mountainside, a review by the Marine Corps concluded.
"The most likely cause of this mishap was that the aircrew ... flew too far away from the field at too low an altitude," according to a summary of the review.
The KC-130 was approaching Bardari airfield near the village of Shamsi about 8 p.m. local time when it was redirected to take a different approach because the military wanted to reduce jet noise over the town and helicopters were parked too close to the landing strip.
Witnesses said they saw the plane circle twice in attempting to land before it crashed and exploded at an altitude of 3,800 feet. If they had gained another 200 feet, they would have cleared the mountain, officials said.
Aircraft at Shamsi must maintain an altitude of 7,000 feet for maneuvering and 5,600 feet to commence a landing attempt.
Colonel Randolph Alles, commanding officer of the Marine unit that includes the KC-130 squadron, said it's possible the crew was flying at the lower altitude because they were attempting a visual landing, but authorities aren't sure.
The crew had no night-vision equipment.
"They thought they were clear of the terrain," Alles said. "There was obviously a mistake in a high-demand environment."
Weather conditions were good that night but there was no moonlight and the crew had only the lights along the airstrip to guide them, according to investigators.
"It was not LAX," investigator Colonel William Durrett said, comparing the remote airstrip to Los Angeles International Airport.
Four people on the flight deck -- the pilot, co-pilot, navigator and flight engineer -- had "collective responsibility" for maintaining a safe altitude, Alles said.
Pakistan had agreed in October to allow U.S. forces to use the base, located 50 miles from the Afghanistan border, as a forward staging area.
Since the crash, the Marine Corps has begun retrofitting three KC-130s with night-vision landing equipment and has plans to do the same to 10 more. The report also recommended upgrading the navigation system on the aircraft.
While the modifications would have helped the crew, "neither would have necessarily prevented the mishap," the report concluded.
The squadron's commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Carl Parker, said the finding of human error was "a bitter pill" for members of the squadron and families of the victims.
He said it was "safe to say" there was disbelief and anger among some family members.
Investigators acknowledged that the crew was experienced and well-trained, but operating under difficult conditions.
"All of the aircrew were at the top of their field," said Colonel William Durrett, part of the investigation team.
The crew of seven from Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego provided supply and aerial refueling support to the war effort.
The victims included Sergeant Jeanette L. Winters, 25, of Gary, Indiana, the first female military casualty in the Afghanistan campaign.
Also killed were Captain Matthew W. Bancroft of Redding; Gunnery Sergeant Stephen L. Bryson of Montgomery, Alabama; Lance Corporal Bryan P. Bertrand of Coos Bay, Oregon; Staff Sergeant Scott Germosen of New York; Sergeant Nathan P. Hays of Wilbur, Washington; and Captain Daniel G. McCollum of Irmo, South Carolina.
January 9, 2002: Captain Matthew W. Bancroft, 29, Redding, California; Captain Daniel G. McCollum, 29, Irmo, South Carolina;; Gunnery Sergeant. Stephen L. Bryson, 36, Montgomery, Alabama; Staff Sergeant Scott N. Germosen, 37, New York; Sergeant Nathan P. Hays, 21, of Wilbur, Washington; Lance Corporal Bryan P. Bertrand, 23, Coos Bay, Oregon; and Sergeant Jeannette L. Winters, 25, Gary, Indiana, all Marines, killed in the crash of tanker plane into a mountain in Pakistan.
Families, friends and Marines began making their final farewells yesterday to the nine Marines from Miramar Marine Corps Air Station who died this month in two crashes. On Tuesday, Staff Sergeant Scott Germosen will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington.
Myrna Washington, whose son Marine Staff Sgt. Scott Germosen was one of seven
Marines killed in a plane crash in Pakistan, wipes away tears as she faces the media
Section 60, Grave 8015
Photograph By M. R. Patterson, October 2002
GERMOSEN, SCOTT N
SSGT US MARINE CORPS
VETERAN SERVICE DATES: 09/27/1982 - 01/09/2002
DATE OF BIRTH: 12/06/1964
DATE OF DEATH: 01/09/2002
DATE OF INTERMENT: 01/29/2002
BURIED AT: SECTION 64 SITE 6111
Posted: 26 January 2002 Updated: 30 January 2002 Updated: 12 October 2002 Updated: 23 March 2003 Updated: 8 May 2004 Updated: 29 June 2004
Updated:17 December 2005