Last revised: February 04, 2015

Condolences Photo INDEX Home Page

An Aerial Reconnaissance Memorial
(1958) C-130A downed by Soviet Fighters

National Vigilance Park
 (Fort George G. Meade, Maryland)

National Security Agency =

To honor those "silent warriors" who risked, and often lost, their lives performing airborne signals intelligence missions during the Cold War. The centerpiece of the memorial is a C-130 aircraft, refurbished to resemble the reconnaissance-configured C-130A which was shot down by Soviet fighters over Soviet Armenia on September 2, 1958.

Aerial reconnaissance became necessary in the 1940s and 1950s because of the Cold War. Soviet propaganda boasted of its strong defense capabilities, and its record of achievement in WWII added credibility to these claims. The USSR detonated its first atomic weapon in 1949, years ahead of American estimates.

In the 1950s, Soviet advances in rocket science increased the possibility that the continental United States could become a nuclear battleground.

America knew little about the post-WWII Soviet military (its strength, armament, deployment or its intentions). This lack of knowledge hampered coherent planning by American policymakers and increased the uncertainties of  a quick escalation into armed conflict.

Therefore, various intelligence programs were created to acquire the information needed for effective military planning. Hence, the aerial reconnaissance programs to collect both Photographic Intelligence and Signals Intelligence.

"We dedicate this Webpage as a tribute to, and in memory of, those airmen who have gone ahead."

55th Anniversary Memorial 
60528 Final Mission (02 September 1958)

Seventeen of our Air Force brothers departed Incirlik Air Base, Turkey
on their final mission -- they died when their aircraft C-130 60528
inadvertently strayed into enemy airspace and Soviet Air Force
MiG-17 pilots shot it down over Armenia.




C-130 60528 Crew Headstone
Arlington National Cemetery

Vietnam Veterans Memorial 


Veterans who served in Vietnam are on a monumental mission: Gathering photos of the 58,272 who didn't make it home.

About 200 volunteers are working to find a picture for each name etched in the black granite Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. More than 23,000 photos have already come in, and the plan is to display them in a nearby education center, opening in 2014.

"You see how much of life they had ahead," says Dr. Linda Schwartz, who was an Air Force nurse in Vietnam. "People need to see these faces as the real cost of war."

Many of our 41st/6913th Bremerhaven friends also served in Vietnam, or know someone who did, or have relatives or friends' names on this wall. It's particularly important this Veteran's Day (11/11/11) to take the time to pray and reflect on this terrible time in our military history.

More information may be found at:

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund:

Honorary Funeral
Charles Ray Burchett

The Military Honors Burial included the
Presentation of the United States Flag,
21-Gun Salute, and Bugler - (August, 2007)

(Special Thanks to daughter Debra Burchett-Lere for sharing this information)

Arlington National Cemetery

 Flag Presentation by an Air Force Chaplain

Condolence by the Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force

Photos, courtesy of 'Mac' McCarville, who drove to Arlington from
Ohio with Don Scheidler, and met Bob Burnside and Bob Guthrie

Don Scheidler, Bob Burnside, Bob Guthrie, Chuck 'Mac' McCarville

"A very touching ceremony. Chuck had a very distinguished career
and was very highly decorated in the service and was highly thought
of as well as being a good friend. We will miss him..."

To 6913th Home Page
To Flag-Draped Coffin

To Honorary Funeral
To Special Remembrances
To Memorial Page

NOTE: Please send any corrections or additions to Ron Fandrick.

Last revised: February 04, 2015

Copyright 2013 by RWF2000 Internet Consulting