Flags flew at half staff at buildings in North Carolina on Tuesday as the state mourned four airmen killed in a weekend crash while fighting fires in South Dakota.
Military officials identified the four dead on Tuesday afternoon. Two other members of the crew of the C-130 that went down fighting the White Draw fire remain hospitalized, officials said.
“Words can’t express how much we feel the loss of these airmen,” Brig. Gen. Tony McMillan, 145th Airlift Wing Commander, said in a prepared statement. “Our prayers are with their families, as well as our injured brothers as they recover.” The crew and the plane are part of the North Carolina Air National Guard unit based in Charlotte.
The dead were identified as Lt. Col. Paul K. Mikeal, 42, of Mooresville, N.C.; Maj. Joseph M. McCormick, 36, of Belmont, N.C.; Maj. Ryan S. David, 35, of Boone, N.C.; and Senior Master Sgt. Robert S. Cannon, 50, of Charlotte.
Mikeal was assigned to the 156th Airlift Squadron as an evaluator pilot and had more than 20 years of service. He leaves behind a wife and two children.