NEWBURGH, N.Y. — The mournful wail of bagpipes inside an airplane hangar at Stewart Airbase in Newburgh where hundreds gathered to mourn the loss of Yankee 7-2.
That was the nickname of the crew killed when their C-130 transport plane exploded and crashed into a Mississippi soybean field on July 10th.
“These nine gentlemen that you see up here were “class” personified,” said their commanding officer, Lt. Col. Joshua Eisenhower.
He told the family, friends and fellow Marines gathered the tight knit group knew how to work hard, but also how to blow off steam and play practical jokes on each other.
“When they put the uniform on, they boarded that aircraft and strapped in, they were professionals.”
The military is still investigating exactly what caused the plane to go down in flames as it took six Marines and one Navy sailor from Camp LeJeune North Carolina to Arizona for specialized training, but one official called it a “massive mechanical failure” of some sort.
A Navy chaplain urged the service members suffering from the devastating loss to do one thing moving forward.
“Keep the memories burning bright so that the fallen live on in our memory.”