Family: Serviceman Dies Honorable Death With AM-Frankfurt Bomb
WOODHAVEN, Mich. (AP) _ An airman killed Thursday in a car bomb explosion at an air base in West Germany died an honorable death in the service of his country, family members said.
Airman 1st Class Frank H. Scarton, 20, of this Detroit suburb, was one two people killed in the blast at Rhein-Main Air Force Base in Frankfurt, according to the U.S. military’s European Command. More than 20 Americans were injured in what authorities called a terrorist attack.
″I just glad he died serving his country,″ said the dead serviceman’s father, Frank.
Scarton said his son, a member of the 437th Military Airlift Wing on temporary duty at Rhein-Main, was a supply specialist who entered the Air Force after graduating from Woodhaven High School in 1983. He said he never imagined his son’s assignment would put him in danger.
″I really never gave it much thought,″ he said. ″I’m just sorry it happened.″
The younger Scarton’s wife, Mary, was secluded with friends in North Charleston, S.C., following word of her husband’s death, said Lt. Chris King, a spokesman for Charleston Air Force Base. The couple had no children.
Flags at the Charleston base, where Scarton had been stationed since January 1984, were flying at half staff Thursday, and King said plans were being made to hold a memorial service on Friday.
″I’m still having a hard time believing it,″ said Scarton’s mother, Mary Ann. ″I keep hoping that some one will knock at the door and say it didn’t happen, but I know they won’t.″
Ferris State College student Kevin Walicki, 20, who knew Frank for eight years, called the dead serviceman a ″leader.″
″He was the kind of person a lot of kids looked up to,″ he said. ″It’s really sad this stuff had to happen to him.″
Mrs. Scarton said her son was excited about going to Germany when she spoke with him last week.
″He was really excited about going there,″ she said. ″He said he was finally going to see something other than South Carolina. He had planned to take plenty of pictures.″
Scarton said his oldest son, Richard, is in the Army and is scheduled to go to Germany. Another son, Steve, plans to enter the Air Force this fall, he said.
″I don’t want him to go (to Germany) now,″ Mrs. Scarton said. ″He’s having second thoughts, too. But they could go anywhere and this could happen.″
The elder Scarton, who served four years in the Air Force, said he will not discourage his sons.
″They are men,″ Scarton said. ″They know what they are doing.″
The other person killed in the blast was Becky Jo Bristol, wife of Senior Airman John R. Bristol, who is assigned to the Aero-Medical Airlift Squadron at Rhein-Main, said Maj. Richard L. Ziegler, a spokesman at the Pentagon.
He said her age was not available and her last home of record was San Antonio, Texas.