The seven crew members aboard Coast Guard aircraft 1705 when it was lost during a search and rescue case in 2009 and a petty officer lost while conducting a dive in 2004 were formally remembered during a National Memorial Service at Escanaba Park in Grand Haven, MI, Friday. Family members of the fallen, Coast Guard personnel, Canadian representatives and the citizens of Grand Haven were in attendance to pay tribute.
“It is my duty and privilege to represent the entire Coast Guard family as we assemble to memorialize those who have given the ultimate sacrifice while performing their duties,” said Adm. Bob Papp, commandant, U.S. Coast Guard. “Of all the events that we face in life, the loss of a husband, a father, a brother, a son or shipmate is one of the most difficult to accept or comprehend.”
Those remembered during the service included Lt. Cmdr. Che Barnes, Lt. Adam Bryant, Chief Petty Officer John Seidman, Petty Officer 2nd Class Carl Grigonis, Petty Officer 2nd Class Monica Beacham, Petty Officer 2nd Class Jason Moletzsky, and Petty Officer 3rd Class Danny Kreder, from the 1705 accident, and Petty Officer 1st Class Mark Mueller from the diving accident. The three air crew members lost recently in the Coast Guard helicopter 6017, LCDR Sean Krueger, AMT1 Adam Hoke and AMT2 Brett Banks, were also recognized and will be formally remembered at next year’s National Memorial Service.
“We gather to pay tribute to our lost shipmates, past and present,” said Papp, adding, “The air crew members of 1705, the lost air crew members of 6017, Petty Officer Mueller and all the Coast Guard men and women who have passed on while fulfilling the motto “Semper Paratus”, Always Ready.”
The memorial service dates back to Aug. 4, 1943, when more than 6,000 citizens of Grand Haven first gathered to pay tribute to the 101 lost crewmembers from the Grand Haven based Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba during World War II. The ship was deployed to the North Atlantic for convoy duties when it was sunk during the early morning hours of June 13, 1943. Many of the crew were sons of Grand Haven.
“I know you [citizens of Grand Haven] also share in the anguish of Coast Guard men and women lost in the line of duty,” Papp said.