On September 22, 1995, the United States Air Force and Canadian Forces lost 24 of their finest people with the catastrophic accident of an E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft. This aircraft was better known within the Elmendorf and Anchorage communities by its call sign, "Yukla 27". The aircraft crashed soon after takeoff from Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska. It was the first crash of a U.S. E-3. The aircraft went down at about 7:45 a.m. in a heavily wooded area about two miles northeast of the runway. The AWACS was headed out on a seven-hour surveillance training mission.
An Air Force investigating officer from Headquarters Pacific Air Forces determined the crash resulted from the aircraft's two left-wing engines ingesting several Canada geese. According to accident investigator, engine number two lost all power and engine number one experienced severe damage after ingesting the geese shortly after takeoff. The resulting loss of thrust rendered the Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft uncontrollable. After a slow, left climbing turn, the aircraft pitched downward and crashed. Human error on the part of the crew was not a factor.
You might ask, "Why create a memorial page now for an incident
that happened over a year and a half ago?" The answer isn't complicated,
yet it's hard to explain. We all deal with pain and healing in different
ways, and being compassionate means helping others deal with their pain,
their way. Just a few weeks ago, I was chatting on Pow Wow and was paged
by a lady from Virginia looking for someone to chat with from Alaska. She
said she feels a part of her is still in Alaska.
This memorial page is dedicated not only to those who died, but to those who live; the mothers, wives, and children who have picked up the pieces of a shattered life and moved on, and live with the loss of a loved one. I salute you all.
The memorial, partially pictured at right, was dedicated in September 1996 to honor the professionalism and dignity of the 24 brave crew members.
Created on 6/29/97 by:
(Updated on 2/19/08)
Technical Sergeant Mark Smithers, USAF
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I regret to say, I can't remember where I got the the clear flag background. If you know, please inform me and I will gladly give them the credit due.
Many other borders and backgrounds can be found at Windy's Fashionable Page Designs.
Information for this page compiled from AF News Service messages and public newsgroup postings.
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