On January 9, 2002, seven of our Marines from VMGR-352 perished when their aircraft, Raider 04, impacted a mountain near Shamsi, Pakistan. As you are all well aware by now, the VMGR Memorial Monument will ensure their names, along with the thirty-six other Marines lost while operating USMC KC-130’s in over 60 years of operations, are not forgotten. You can contribute to the VMGR Memorial Monument here:
Whether or not you can contribute to the monument (if you already have, thank you), please take a minute to read about Raider 04 and its crew of seven. January 9th marks twenty-one years since our Marine Corps transport family, and the seven families of these fine Marines, suffered the loss. We at MCATA remember them, we honor their service, sacrifice, and the sad and permanent loss their families have had to face since that day in January of 2002. We are their brothers and sisters, and surely, there but by the grace of God do we go, too.
From the Arlington National Cemetery website:
Arlington National Website Synopsis
Crew info (highlighted names = link):
Captain Matthew W. Bancroft, 29, of Shasta, California
Captain Daniel G. McCollum, 29, of Richland, South Carolina
Gunnery Sergeant Stephen L. Bryson, 35, of Montgomery, Alabama
Staff Sergeant Scott N. Germosen, 37, of Queens, New York
Sergeant Nathan P. Hays, 21, of Lincoln, Washington
Lance Corporal Bryan P. Bertrand, 23, of Coos Bay, Oregon
Sergeant Jeannette L. Winters, 25, of Du Page, Illinois
On a personal note, I remember hearing about the loss of aircraft 160021 shortly after it occurred in 2002. I was deeply moved, I especially felt so moved by the loss of LCpl Bertrand. I knew that I, a Lance Corporal myself more than two decades prior, had been a young VMGR-352 navigator, and that I, too, had sat in that seat on QB 160021 myself. Surely it could just as easily have been me. Why was it he and not me? Who was LCpl Bertrand? Was he any different from me? And I knew for all the differences between us, the similarities started and ended with VMGR-352 Navigator and being aboard that specific airplane, and they were undeniable.
I found out soon after that LtCol C. T. Parker was C.O. of VMGR-352. I'd known Terry when he was a 1Lt and I was a Warrant Officer in the mid-80's in 352. I wrote him a long letter expressing my feelings: feelings of sadness, solidarity, connection, and sympathy. The VMGR Memorial Monument project for me is an extension of what I felt that January in 2002, of all the things I wrote to him, expanded to all eight of our losses in operations now spanning nearly 62 years (it's 2023). I'm sure all of us, whether we were personally acquainted or not, understand the connection I feel to LCpl Bertrand, and have known and felt the same toward one or more of the fine forty-three Marines we are remembering forever with the VMGR Memorial Monument.