Sturgis, SD Helicopter Crash, May 1986


Sturgis, S.D. (AP) -- An Air Force helicopter providing security for a missile maintenance ground convoy crashed Thursday, killing five of the six people on board, the Air Force said.
The HU-1 helicopter was carrying two crew members and four military police, said Airman 1st Class Ron Brown of the Ellsworth Air Force Base public affairs unit. He would not identify the victims.
"There were five men dead and one woman still alive. We saw the bodies. Two were burned beyond recognition," said witness Dave Heaton, who drove to the site minutes after the 3 p.m. crash.
The survivor, a woman, was listed in critical condition at Rapid City Hospital, said hospital coordinator Debbie Brugger.
The helicopter was accompanying a missile maintenance convoy from the base to a missile site at the time of the crash, Brown said.
Heaton, 43, a well driller who lives about a mile from the crash site, said his 18-year-old son heard the crash and explosion. The two drove to the scene, arriving seconds after an Air Force armored vehicle, Heaton said.
Ellsworth Air Force Base near Rapid City is a Strategic Air Command base responsible for 160 Minuteman missile silos in western South Dakota.
In September 1982, one person was killed and two others injured when a helicopter from the same Ellsworth detachment crashed 15 miles northwest of New Underwood.

Daly News Record Harrisonburg Virginia 1986-05-30

Killed In The Crash:
Pilot Capt. BRIAN H. SNIDER, 29, New Palestine, Indiana.
Co-pilot 2nd Lt. DAVID H. GORDON, 25, Auburn, Washington, both assigned to Detachment 2, 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron.
Three men assigned to the 45th Missile Security Squadron also were killed:
Senior Airman DONALD HEITKAMP, 23, St. Henry, Ohio.
Airman 1st Class BERRY P. HOLMES, 21, Miami, Florida.
Staff Sgt. CHARLES L. HUSKEY, 23, Chatsworth, Georgia.
The lone survivor, Airman 1s Class LATANIA HUGULEY, 22, of Salem, Alabama, a missile security specialist, was listed in critical condition Friday in Rapid City Regional Hospital with undisclosed injuries.


Honoring and remembering all of them...

We still mourn this tragedy. We have such fond memories of the men we knew.


David H. Gordon. "Dave" gone but never forgotten, ever.
Love always, Your Sunflower ????????????????????