3 US firefighters killed in Australia aerial crash identified
Three U.S. firefighters were on a firebombing mission, when the C-130 crashed into the mountains near the Australian capital of Canberra
By Rachel Engel
CANADA — Coulson Aviation released a statement identifying the three U.S. firefighters that were on board the C-130 when it crashed on Jan. 23.
Capt. Ian H. McBeth was from Great Falls, Montana, and is survived by his wife, Bowdie, and their three children, Abigail, Calvin and Ella, as well as his parents and three siblings. McBeth served in the Wyoming National Guard and was currently serving in the Montana National Guard as a C-130 pilot. He had earned many hours of experience and was a qualified Instructor and Evaluator pilot.
First Officer Paul Clyde Hudson lived in Buckeye, Arizona, and is survived by his wife Noreen. Hudson graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1999 and served for 20 years in the U.S. Marine Corps before retiring as a Lt. Col. During his time in the USMC, he served as a C-130 pilot.
Flight Engineer Rick A. DeMorgan Jr. was from Navarre, Florida, and is survived by his two children, Lucas and Logan, his parents and one sister. DeMorgan served 18 years in the Air Force as a flight engineer for the C-130. During his career he amassed over 4,000 flying hours in the tanker, including 2,000 in a combat environment.
The statement expressed condolences to the families of the three firefighters.
“Right now, our hearts are with the crew’s family and friends and our Coulson Family suffering in the loss of these three remarkable and well-respected crew-members,” the statement read. “We as a company are committed to supporting the families of our heroes through this tragedy. This will be deeply felt by all. Thank you for recognizing the work that our crews do and for expressing your condolences and grief for the families of our fallen heroes. “