Memorial Service for CG 6017

The American flag flies at half-mast along with three Coast Guard ensigns in recognition for the fallen aircrew of CG 6017. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Allyson E.T. Conroy)

The American flag flies at half-mast along with three Coast Guard ensigns in recognition of the fallen aircrew of CG 6017. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Allyson E.T. Conroy)

Earlier today, the Coast Guard said goodbye to three of its own. In a memorial service held in the hangar at Air Station Sitka, LCDR (select) Sean Krueger, AMT1 Adam Hoke and AMT2 Brett Banks were honored for making the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our nation.

“There is no greater compliment than to be known as a great Shipmate and no better goal than to become one,” said Admiral Bob Papp, Commandant of the Coast Guard to those assembled to honor the fallen Coast Guardsmen of CG 6017. “By all definitions, Sean Krueger, Adam Hoke, and Brett Banks were great Shipmates. This is what makes their loss all that much harder to bear.”

On July 7, 2010, a Coast Guard helicopter, designation 6017, was lost off the coast of Washington State. Three Coast Guardsmen were pronounced deceased as a result of the crash. LT Lance Leone was the lone survivor of the air crew.

Over the past week, the outpouring of support for the Coast Guard family and those left behind by our fallen shipmates has been both a testament to the careers of these brave Coast Guardsmen but also an inspiration to those who choose to wear the uniform in service to and defense of the United States. We here at Coast Guard Compass thank you on behalf of the Service for your support and your prayers in this time of mourning.

Below are photographs capturing just a few of the moments from today’s ceremony. A recording of the webcast of the memorial service is available by clicking here.

A portrait of Lt. Sean D. Krueger is displayed next to an empty aviator helmet, flight suit and boots. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Walter Shinn)

A portrait of Lt. Sean D. Krueger is displayed next to an empty aviator helmet, flight suit and boots. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Walter Shinn)

A portrait of Petty Officer 1st Class Adam C. Hoke is displayed next to an empty aviator helmet, flight suit and boots. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Walter Shinn)

A portrait of Petty Officer 1st Class Adam C. Hoke is displayed next to an empty aviator helmet, flight suit and boots. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Walter Shinn)

 A portrait of Petty Officer 2nd Class Brett M. Banks is displayed next to an empty aviator helmet, flight suit and boots.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Walter Shinn)

A portrait of Petty Officer 2nd Class Brett M. Banks is displayed next to an empty aviator helmet, flight suit and boots. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Walter Shinn)

Admiral Bob Papp, Commandant of the Coast Guard addresses those gathered to honor the fallen Coast Guardsmen of CG 6017. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Walter Shinn)

Admiral Bob Papp, Commandant of the Coast Guard addresses those gathered to honor the fallen Coast Guardsmen of CG 6017. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Walter Shinn)

A Coast Guardsmen plays Taps in honor of the three fallen Coast Guardsmen of CG 6017. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Walter Shinn)

A member of the Honor Guard plays Taps in honor of the three fallen Coast Guardsmen of CG 6017. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Walter Shinn)


  • Shelly Kennedy

    We are a Coastie and Navy family and mourn the loss of these brothers. May they rest in peace and God provide comfort to their families.

  • Kate Kelley

    As a Coast Guard Mom I cannot imagine what the families are going through. My thoughts and prayers are with all the families and their friends. Rest in peace and God Bless.

  • Ora steber

    My deepest condolences to the family and the coast guard for the loss of their fellow Coast guardsmen. My son is stationed in Sitka so this is a personal loss for us.

  • Julie Love

    Our hearts and prayers go out to the coast guard and their families. No greater love has one than to give your life for another. We are honored by those who choose to serve and thankful for the amazing men and women of the United States Coast Guard.

  • May Knights

    I had the privilege of being Lt. Sean Krueger’s Spanish teacher at MHS in Waterboro, Maine. I have never forgotten him, as he exemplified then, and now, the characteristics of Americas very best! He was an amazing young man. May his family take comfort in knowing that so many care, and may, with time, the memories shared bring them peace.

  • Karen Bell

    I thank you for having this service. As an Army wife I have had nightmare’s about recieving the news these families have. Sean was a great friend and a great hero and as his friend I promise to do whatever I can for his family. I appreciate the time and effort people put into having the service online for those of us so far away. I know a lot of Sean’s friends will not be able to make it to his wake and funeral so to have that moment was special. Thank you again to the US Coast Guard, for honoring Sean and his ship mates, taking care of the families and for including those all over the world that love them.

  • Greg DuRoss

    Now that I have a family member (nephew)in the USCG (Detroit -Selfridge) certainly brings home the family aspect of service and heightens the awareness of the risk. My condolences to the families.

  • Patricia Meyer

    We are a Army and Coast Guard Aviation Family our hearts and prayers go out to our fellow Coast Guardsmen and their families at Air Station Sitka. Rest in Peace my Coast Guard Brothers we have the watch now.

  • Jon Sandberg

    They stood up…
    They showed up…
    They stepped forward…
    They raised their right hands…
    They stood in the gap…

    They walked in the fire…
    They did not run…
    They did not hide…
    They did not dodge…
    They did not evade…

    Consequently…
    They had nothing to prove…
    No one to convince…

    Those who matter already know…

    Those who don’t, never will…

  • Todd Lightle

    Impressions of a Pilot
    Gary Claude Stoker

    Flight is freedom in its purest form,
    To dance with the clouds which follow a storm;
    To roll and glide, to wheel and spin,
    To feel the joy that swells within.

    To leave the earth with its troubles and fly,
    And know the warmth of a clear spring sky;
    Then back to earth at the end of the day,
    Released from the tensions which melted away.

    Should my end come while I am in flight,
    Whether brightest day or darkest night;
    Spare me no pity and shrug off the pain,
    Secure in the knowledge that I’d do it again.

    For each of us is created to die,
    And within me I know,
    I was born to fly.

  • Dan Wilbert

    ….Taking a knee……facing up.

  • Ben Herndon USN(Ret)

    It is never easy to loose a friend and/or shipmate. May those who remain remember the strengths that made these men so memorable. Their service was honorable and they should be remembered with pride for what they believed and lived for. May God bless and keep their families in their hours of sorrow. I thank them for their survice and sacrafice.

  • James W. Hiers

    God bless these men. Their families are in our prayers. Semper Paratus!

  • Alfred Birdsong ARMY (RET)

    The prayers of me and my family go out to the Coast Guard families who have lost there loved ones. May you forever be in the thoughts of us all blessings to you and yours forever.

  • Vic Anderson

    My family and I were in La Push on vacation when the accident happened. We witnessed the most tragic loss of life. I hope this reaches the families of the men that served our country. We are so saddened by your loss and wish you all the support we can give. They will not be forgotten. When the Coast Guard helicopters pass over my house, I will think of them. They will hold a special place in our hearts.

  • Jill Lumpkin

    Your shipmates deployed to the Deepwater Horizon Response Incident Command Post in Mobile, Alabama gave pause to watch the Memorial Service and stand with you during this very difficult time. We are thinking of you across the miles and send our thoughts and prayers.

  • Matthew Sprague, ADC, USCG(ret)

    For my fallen brothers, and for their families and shipmates, in this time of loss and sorrow – - May the Lord bless you and keep you, may the Lord make his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.

    Semper Paratus, my heartfelt condolences to all affected by this tragedy.

  • kimba walrath

    Coasties-
    Respect and love to all the families and shipmates for this tragic loss. I pray for God’s comfort and loving care for our precious Coast Guard Family. Blessings to each of you through the comming hours,days and lifetimes of sorrow this brings. I will not forget this tragic day. I am sorry for your loss.
    TSA-SLC

  • Troy Licon USCG/USBP

    Thoughts and prayers… Semper Paratus Brothers

  • lisa moletzsky

    May we extend our deepest condolences to the families of the men of CG6017 and to all their shipmates in the Coast Guard…for the valiant and courageous work they had vowed to do and accomplished it all for our country and us. We are so saddened as we know the loss you are feeling….we lost our son just 8 1/2 months ago in the CG1705. We pray that you find comfort and peace during this time of grief. Your loved one lived to do the work that they loved. They are resting easy in the arms of those who went before them.

  • Michael Ward

    God bless these 3 men and their families. My prayers go out to all involved.

  • Janice M. Washington

    I was deeply saddened to hear about the death of the three fallen Coast Guardsmen of CG 6017. I know how difficult this must be for you. You are in my thoughts and prayers. They will not be forgotten. May God bless you and your family during this time and always.

  • James Erne

    As a U.S. Coast Guard Veteran I offer my condolences and deepest sympathies. “Semper Paratus” – Always Ready in Rain, shine, snow, wind high seas it doesn’t matter. Where others decide not to venture, all 3 of these men answered the call on every occasion in a display of unconditional devotion to duty and this great country. The diligence, perseverance, and devotion to duty are most heartily commended and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard.

    Semper Paratus!!!!

    Fair Winds and Following Seas,

    James C. Erne, QM2
    USCGC Spencer 1992-1994
    USCGC Tahoma 1994-1996

  • John Fay

    Our loss is great, our hearts are sad but our spirit rejoices in the fact that these men set an example for each of us to follow in their footsteps. Love of our country and our fellow man is so recognizable in these fallen men. May God bless these brave men and bring peace to their families.

  • S. Calabrese

    My brother retired from the Coast Guard ten years ago. Yesterday, he called me with the news of this helicopter crash It hit home with him deeply, as he had been stationed in Sitka for eight years. My deepest sympathy goes out to these families. May God Bless the Coast Guard.

  • James M. Leonhardt

    I’ve been to Air Station Sitka, Alaska twice (2003, 2004). My son-in-law CMDR Mark Vislay was stationed there, and he flew many SAR missions, including the rescue of 100′s of survivors of hurricane Katrina while stationed in Mobile, AL. I know what these men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard are up against when they take to the air to rescue those in need. My heart goes out to all those brave men and women that protect our shores and daily save lives. May those men and women that gave their lives, saving others, rest in peace.

    Lt J.M. Leonhardt USNR (ret)

  • Don Hetticher USCG Aux.

    My heart & prayers go out to the families of these brave men. Adam was my sons freind & mentor when he was an airman at A/S Astoria.
    We are both now at A/S LA.he is a flight mech. on the 60s,& I am a watch stander in the Ops. Cntr.Every time our Helos go out, I say a silent orayer they will return safely.May God bless all the men,& women of our military & watch over them always.

  • OS3 Crawley

    Tears fill my eyes but I know that these 3 men are now at home in the sky…. May the lord bless you and keep you.

  • Jeff Lewis

    Fair winds and following seas, fairwell my fallen comrades!

    My prayers and best wishes to the families and friends of these heroes.

    Sincerley
    Jeff Lewis, MK2

    USCGC Smilax
    USCG Sta. Marathon
    USCGC Point Nowell
    USCG Sta. Lake Worth

  • ME1 John Clark

    God Bless You Brothers. There is no greater honor than to serve a cause bigger than yourself, to give up what you hold most dear to dedicate your life to protecting people you didn’t know.

    Thats something to always be proud of.

  • R L Baker

    I am a Coastie Mom – my two coasties were killed in 1997.
    My heart goes out to the families of our fallen heroes.

  • Ron Bruchwalski

    “You have to go out, but you don’t have to come back.” – These men made the ultimate sacrifice. God Bless them and their families.

  • John Prince

    Condolences to family, friends, and comrades. Our Coast Guard community grieves with you and gives you full support. Honor our three heroes and remember their ultimate sacrafice.

  • FEDERICO MARRERO (IRS)

    From Shakespeare’s Henry V, 1598:

    KING HENRY V:
    This story shall the good man teach his son;
    And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
    From this day to the ending of the world,
    But we in it shall be remember’d;
    We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
    For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
    Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
    This day shall gentle his condition:
    And gentlemen in England now a-bed
    Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
    And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
    That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day

    -May the tides keep our fallen and bring back their good memories every time it come to shore-

    Respect to the families

  • S. CORDOVA

    “… In harms way”. Is not always a distant shore.

  • Juanita Lopez

    My deepest sympathy goes out to the families and commrades of the fallen Coast Guard. I didn’t know them or even live near where they were stationed, but I am a Dept of Homeland Security employee. Since more and more information on documentaries even movies depicting just how much these brave souls do to secure our border waters; I have come to deeply respect and in total awe of what it is their job consist of. I am extremely grateful to the fallen and the ones still here to serve and protect us all. To the families stay strong keep their memories in your heart always.

  • Dan Morisset AETC (RET)

    Services “back at the Cape” for Mr. Kruger today….. You will be missed as all of the fallen that serve our country are. Thank you all for your service and sacrifice.

    Semper Paratus
    Carpe Diem

  • Henry Hudson, CDR (retired)

    “If a man hasn’t discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.” by Martin Luther King Jr.

    These men found something worth dying for…their fellow man-kind. No greater a gift can a man give than to lay down his life for his friends. These men, our friends, gave their lives in service of their fellow citizens. They are in God’s hands now and we pray they are at peace. Good-bye my brothers.

  • Tim Wallis, AET2

    We will miss you brothers…

  • D.M.

    I attended the funeral of LT Krueger today. It was leveling to say the least. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. Especially his wife and children. God bless you all

  • Mark D. Davis

    We’re a tight knit family. There aren’t too many us…it affects all of us…it’s a sad day for us all
    Semper Paratus
    Former Eagle sailor

  • Michael Wallace

    I am the father of a Guardian, and a retired Marine officer. Over my career many of my comrades paid the ultimate sacrifice – in war and peace. As I told my daughter, we few in uniform do dangerous things, even in “peacetime”. We stepped forward to pay a price for freedom and security. People we know will one day make the ultimate sacrifice. Knowing this will not stop us from serving our nation. Rest assured, LCDR (select) Sean Krueger, AMT1 Adam Hoke and AMT2 Brett Banks will not be forgotten. They have joined my comrades – and they are in good company. I know the Sitka Guardian community is small and this loss is especially hard. Be thankful for what these young men accomplished, tell their story, keep your heads high and continue to serve with pride.

    Semper Fidelis,

    Michael Wallace, USMC (RET)

  • R. Lester

    I am a father of a current Coastie of 10 years, he will retire in the USCG. Our family sends out our deepest condolences for the loss of these brave men. Freedom does not come free, but for a price which they have paid. God bless their families and USCG brothers and sisters. We Honor and Pray for all of the men and women who voluntarily serve our country and may God be with them and their families.

    Carry on and Semper Paratus!

  • Dan & Kathleen Curran

    We send our love and most sincere condolences to the families that have suffered this terrible loss. As Coastie parents we know of the risks our brave young service men and women face each day. To say these three young men will be greatly missed is a gross understatement. Their sacrifice, and that of those who have gone before them, must and will never be forgotten. Semper Paratus.

  • Igor Polivany

    I bring deep condolences on behalf of Russian rescuers. To come to the aid of anothers, risking the life, strong and kind people are capable only. Unfortunately, sometimes they from us leave, but that they have made in the life, we shall always remember. Eternal memory!

    Igor Polivany,
    chief of rescue service,
    Arkhangelsk, Russia

  • Jim Cheezum, HS2 USCG (Sep)

    As a former Coast Guardsman, I deeply regret the loss of our shipmates. Having been stationed at an Airsta and receiveing a phone call in the middle of the night saying that we had a crash is no fun. Rest easy gentlemen and speedy recovery to LT Lance Leone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/doug.monroe.129 Doug Monroe

    As an AM3 in the seventies we Coasties had such a good safety record because we fly in what we work on and USCG Airdales are such a small group it really tore all our guts out when we lost one or more of our own, I’m sure it is no different today. It hurt just to read this.