VMGR MEMORIAL MONUMENT PROJECT INFORMATION
BACKGROUND: In 1970 the Marine Corps lost a KC-130 (BuNo 150685) in a fatal crash in El Toro California. One of the pilots lost on that aircraft was Captain Robert Walls. Captain Walls cousin, Mr. Johnathan Keene, spearheaded an effort to have a memorial dedicated and placed at VMGR-352 at MCAS Miramar in honor of his cousin and all those lost. Since that time Mr. Keene also discovered that there is no monument to the other aircrew lost in fatal VMGR incidents over the years. He wants to try to do something about that!
Working with our MCATA Historian Alan Stinar (founder of Marine Battle Herk Project) and the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation a plan has been developed to build a memorial monument in Quantico in honor of those lost. A committee has been formed consisting of Mr. Keene, Alan Stinar, Jacob Cobb (founder of Raidermobile Foundation) and an executive team from MCATA consisting of MCATA President Dave Harshbarger, MCATA Vice President Matt Piliere, MCATA Treasurer John Klossner and Webmaster and Past MCATA President Rich Driscoll. The Marine Corps Air Transport Association has agreed to assist in the fundraising effort to build that memorial by spreading the word and helping with donation collections.
VMGR pilots and aircrew have flown the Marine Corps KC-130 millions of miles and millions of flight hours over sixty two years. They have performed their missions magnificently around the globe in peace and in war. During that time, we have lost eight KC-130’s with tragic incident fatalities. We have also had some close calls reminding us of the inherent dangers of the mission and the risks taken by all who have operated the aircraft and the great sacrifices of the families of the fallen.
UPDATE: Funding for the memorial construction is complete and we are now working on the plans for the dedication ceremony. More information below!
Proposed VMGR Memorial Monument
(Note: All designs are purely conceptual.)
THE MEMORIAL MONUMENT: Above is an artist rendering created by our MCATA Historian Alan Stinar. The memorial monument will be made of black granite and will have the bureau number of each aircraft lost with the number of crew and passenger fatalities. On the back of the memorial will be the individual names of each of those crewmembers. The memorial monument's dimensions are: (Approximately) 7 feet high, 3 feet 4 inches wide and 1 foot 3 inches deep. Here are links to another artist's rendering showing the actual planned dimensions:
Here are the names of the fallen that will be on the monument and some information about each: In Memoriam
THE SEMPER FIDELIS MEMORIAL PARK: The memorial will be placed in the Semper Fidelis Memorial Park. The Semper Fidelis Memorial Park is an ADA-compliant paved walkway dedicated to the service of Marines today as well as the past. It is part of the National Museum of the Marine Corps and has forty memorials and commemorative bricks along the paths that crisscross each other. Included among those memorials are the statues of Iron Mike and Molly Marine. To learn more about the park and the monuments already there, go to this link: https://www.marineheritage.org/semperfidelismemorialpark.html
Fundraising for the construction of the monument is complete and the project is underway. Planning is ongoing for the dedication ceremony June 7, 2024. The families of the fallen who attend this ceremony deserve a first class memorial celebration and detailed planning is underway. We have reached our initial goal of $50,000 to finance this dedication, but could always use more to help cover unexpected expenses. You can still contribute to help us offset the cost by going to our donation page and making your donation.
We still have bricks to sell as well. These bricks will be placed around the base of the monument and we will sell the remaining for $350, $500, and $1000* each. You may personalize these for yourself or someone you wish to honor. For more information on brick sales and other ways to donate, go to this link: Donate
*Note that all the initially available $1000 placements are sold. Future $1000 brick purchases will be given "best available" placement.
To register for dedication ceremony go to this link: VMGR Memorial Dedication Registration