Remembering the crew of CG-6535

CG6535 Memorial Ceremony

Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile, Ala., personnel and family members pay their respects during a ceremony honoring the service and memories of Coast Guard helicopter 6535. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

Earlier today the Coast Guard bid farewell to four of its own. In a memorial service held in Hangar 2 at Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile, Ala., the service paid tribute to the crew of Coast Guard helicopter 6535 – Lt. Cmdr. Dale Taylor, Lt. j.g. Thomas Cameron, Chief Petty Officer Fernando Jorge and Petty Officer 3rd Class Andrew Knight.

PO3 Knight Memorial

Petty Officer 3rd Class Andrew Knight was the flight mechanic for Coast Guard helicopter 6535. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

“Dale, Tom, Nando and Drew answered the call,” said Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp. “They stepped forward and dedicated their lives to helping others – the only thing stronger than their desire to fly, was their desire to serve. And, they did serve – they served all of us.”

On Feb. 28, 2012, a Coast Guard helicopter, designation 6535, went down in Mobile Bay, Ala., during a training flight. The bodies of Taylor, Cameron and Jorge were recovered from the crash site. The search for Knight continues.

On behalf of the Coast Guard family, we want to thank our readers for the outpouring of support from the public, particularly the community of Mobile, over the past week. Your thoughts and prayers for our shipmates and those they left behind are both a testament to the careers of these brave Coast Guardsmen and an inspiration to those who choose to wear the uniform in service to and defense of the United States.

Below are photographs from today’s ceremony. You can also view or download video of the memorial service on the U.S. Coast Guard website.

ADM Papp GC6535 Memorial

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp addresses those gathered to pay their respects to the crew of Coast Guard helicopter 6535. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

CPO Jorge Memorial

Chief Petty Officer Fernando Jorge was the rescue swimmer assigned to Coast Guard helicopter 6535. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

LTJG Cameron Memorial

Lt. j.g. Thomas Cameron was the pilot assigned to Coast Guard helicopter 6535. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

LCDR Dale Taylor

Lt. Cmdr. Dale Taylor was the aircraft commander for Coast Guard helicopter 6535. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

Taps CG6535 Memorial

A member of the U.S. Coast Guard Band plays "Taps" outside of Hangar 2 at Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile, Ala., during the memorial service for the crew of Coast Guard helicopter 6535. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

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