Photo the Week: Australia honors fallen US allies 1 year after plane crash
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This week's Photo of the Week shows the memorial site in Australia where loved ones, colleagues, government officials and local firefighters honored the three United States firefighters killed in a plane crash battling devastating bushfires overseas last year.
Capt. Ian H. McBeth of Montana, First Officer Paul Clyde Hudson of Arizona and Flight Engineer Rick A. DeMorgan Jr. of Florida died on Jan. 23, 2020 when their air tanker crashed in New South Wales, Australia. The crew had traveled from the United States to aid in the fight against the "Black Summer" bushfires that burned at least 46 million acres, destroyed more than 3,500 homes, killed a total of 34 people and killed or displaced 3 billion animals. Nearly 300 U.S. firefighters were deployed to assist their Australian allies in the firefighting efforts.
"A beautiful & fitting memorial today at Peak View, commemorating 1 year since aerial firefighters Ian McBeth, Paul Hudson & Rick DeMorgan JR died when Bomber 134 crashed. We will never forget their sacrifice. May their families & esp. kids always know their dads were true heroes," wrote New South Wales Commissioner of Resilience and Deputy Secretary of Emergency Management Shane Fitzsimmons, who is the past commissioner of the New South Wales Rural Fire Service.