Search for Crewmembers involved in Mid-Air Collision

 Coast Guard aircrew members conduct search patterns east of San Clemente Island Friday. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Cory J. Mendenhall.

Coast Guard aircrew members conduct search patterns east of San Clemente Island Friday. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Cory J. Mendenhall.

It has been a truly tragic past couple of days for the Coast Guard, Marine Corps and the family and friends of the nine crewmembers who were involved in a mid-air collision on Thursday night.

A joint agency search and rescue operation continues off the coast of California east of San Clemente Island for the missing air crewmembers who were onboard the Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane and a Marine Corps AH-1W Super Cobra helicopter that collided.

The search effort has saturated an area totaling 644 square miles and includes surface and air assets from the Coast Guard, Navy, Marine Corps and Customs Border Protection Air/Marine Branch.

Click on image to watch an Associated Press video about the incident.

Click on image to watch an Associated Press video about the incident.

The missing Guardians from the Coast Guard C-130 are:

  • Lieutenant Commander Che J. Barnes, age 35, Capay, Calif., Aircraft Commander.
  • Lieutenance Adam W. Bryant, age 28, Crewe, Va., Co-Pilot.
  • Chief Petty Officer John F. Seidman, age 43, Stockton, Calif., Flight Engineer.
  • Petty Officer 2nd Class Carl P. Grigonis, age 35, Mayfield Heights, Ohio, Navigator.
  • Petty Officer 2nd Class Monica L. Beacham, age 29, Decaturville, Tenn., Radio Operator.
  • Petty Officer 2nd Class Jason S. Moletzsky, age 26, Norristown, Pa., Air Crew.
  • Petty Officer 3rd Class Danny R. Kreder II, age 22, Elm Mott, Texas, Drop Master.

The missing crew members from the Marine Corps helicopter are:

  • Major Samuel Leigh, age 35, Kennebec, Maine.
  • 1st Lieutenant Thomas Claiborne, age 26, Douglas, Colo.

Thank-you to everyone who is praying for the missing crewmembers and sending words of encouragement to their families, friends and coworkers.

Click here for words from the Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Thad Allen.

For updates on the case, visit Coast Guard Public Affairs Detachment San Diego’s news site.

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