Reservists commemorate the 30th anniversary of C-141 Starlifter crash

Post date: Feb 11, 2016 5:28:25 PM

By Michael Dukes, 315th Airlift Wing Public Affairs / Published September 04, 2014

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. Members of the 315th Operations Group gathered during the July B flight unit training assembly to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the crash of a C-141 Starlifter flown by a nine-member Reserve aircrew from the (at the time) 701st Military Airlift Squadron.

Eight aircrew members and one passenger died when their aircraft crashed during a mission shortly after departing Sigonella, Italy July 12, 1984.

"Now in the memory of the men who we have lost, we have been given a soul," said Lt. Col. Craig Smith, 701st MAS commander, on July 21, 1984 - less than two weeks after the crash.

More than 60 current and former Reservists and family and friends attended the small memorial event at C-141 display at the Joint Base Charleston Heritage air park.

The placard unveiled in July, 30 years later reads: "... As fellow 701st crewmen, our mission began the solemn moment their mission came to an end. It carries on to this day; we honor their service to country, we uphold the squadron and ideals our fallen brothers passed on to us, we have learned from their final lesson to us, and we stand with those who still mourn their loss."

The fallen Reservists were:

1st Lt Steven Grapperhaus AC

Maj Alan Wilson CP

1st Lt Michael Hodge CP

MSgt Refugio Rivera FE

TSgt John Dasenbrock FE

SSgt Darnell Gardner FE

TSgt Kightlinger LM

TSgt James Simpson LM