Families Mourn Airmen Workers Killed in Transport Crash
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) _ Nearly 3,000 mourners gathered at a service honoring five National Guardsmen who were among 16 people killed when a military transport plane slammed into a hotel and restaurant in Evansville, Ind.
″I prayed this day would never come, but unfortunately, it did. Now I can only pray it never happens again,″ said Master Sgt. Chuck Amsler, who cried as he passed around photos of the five at the service inside a hangar where they were based.
Honored on Sunday were Maj. Richard A. Strang, Capt. Warren J. Klingaman, 1st Lt. Vincent D. Yancar, Master Sgt. William G. Hawkins and Master Sgt. John M. Medley.
At a service in Evansville, about 600 mourners remembered John R. Stallings Jr., a vice president of a plumbing supply company, and an employee, Darrel Arnold, who were killed in Thursday’s crash.
The Kentucky Air National Guard plane went down while practicing takeoffs and landings.
Of the 11 civilians killed, nine were in a fourth-floor meeting at the Drury Inn sponsored by Stallings’ company. The two others were employees of adjacent Jojo’s restaurant.
An Air Force investigating board hopes a cockpit tape recording recovered Saturday will tell them why the Lockheed C-130 plunged from the sky.
At the Louisville service, Gov. Brereton Jones called the National Guardsmen heroes.
″I want ... their families to know that the people of the commonwealth of Kentucky are very appreciative and grateful for what they have done,″ he said. ″We will never forget them.″