Coast Guard Memorial Honors Crash Victims

Memorial for Coast Guard victims

A memorial service began Friday morning for the seven Coast Guard members and two Marines were killed when an airplane collided with a Marine helicopter off the coast of San Diego.

"Your presence here this morning devotes remembrance," saidCapt. J.J. O'Connor,

the Commanding officer of Air Station Sacramento. "We're gathered as a Coast Guard family. We will lift each other up."

The ceremony is being held at the Sacramento station where the C-130 Coast Guard plane was based. The Coast Guard members in the crash were:

  • Lt. Cmdr. Che J. Barnes, 35, Capay, Calif., aircraft commander
  • Lt. Adam W. Bryant, 28, Crewe, Va., co-pilot
  • Chief Petty Officer John F. Seidman, 43, Stockton, Calif., flight engineer
  • Petty Officer 2nd Class Carl P. Grigonis, 35, Mayfield Heights, Ohio, navigator
  • Petty Officer 2nd Class Monica L. Beacham, 29, Decaturville, Tenn., radio operator
  • Petty Officer 2nd Class Jason S. Moletzsky, 26, Norristown, Penn., air crew
  • Petty Officer 3rd Class Danny R. Kreder II, 22, Elm Mott, Texas, drop master

No bodies were recovered after the crash.

The plane was searching for a missing boater when it collided Oct. 29 with the helicopter, which was on a training exercise.

The AH-1W Super Cobra helicopter's two-man crew -- Major Samuel Leigh, 35, from Maine, and 1st Lt. Thomas Claiborne, 26, of Colorado -- was also killed. A Marine spokesman, Major Jay Delarosa, said a memorial was not yet scheduled.
A joint Marines-Coast Guard board is investigating the cause of the crash.

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