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NEWS | Sept. 3, 2020

433rd Airlift Wing remembers BRAVO-12 on 30-year anniversary

By Tech. Sgt. Iram Carmona 433rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The 433rd Airlift Wing held a remembrance and wreath-laying ceremony for the 30th anniversary of the BRAVO-12 aircrew at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland Aug. 28.

Nine members of the 433rd Mobility Airlift Wing along with four additional personnel were killed when their C-5A Galaxy crashed shortly after takeoff from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, in the early morning Aug. 29, 1990. Out of 17 personnel on board, only four survived.

The aircrew’s mission that day was to fly to the Persian Gulf to deliver food, medical supplies and maintenance equipment to U.S. troops leading a multinational force in support of Operation DESERT SHIELD, a response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.

Lt. Col. Douglas P. Schoenenberger, 68th Airlift Squadron commander narrated the ceremony. Col. Terry W. McClain, 433rd AW commander, made the opening remarks.

“We can never repay these selfless heroes, but we can say thank you to their immediate family members and honor and respect them for their service,” McClain said about the BRAVO-12 crew and their families during his speech.

The guest speaker was retired Col. Jimmie “Pat” Brooks who spoke about interactions with some of the crew while he was a new lieutenant here at the time of the BRAVO-12 mishap.

“BRAVO-12 was a great tragedy for 13 reservists who volunteered to defend their country and died for the cause of freedom,” Brooks said. “It is incumbent for those of us who have served, and continue to serve, to never forget the sacrifices that those who came before us have made on behalf of ourselves and the citizens of this great country! It was my honor to represent the 68th Airlift Squadron in paying tribute to these great Airmen.”

“The 68th simply wanted all of the families to know that they will always be a part of us,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Jones, 68th Airlift Squadron, director of staff and project officer for the ceremony. “Although it’s been 30 years since the tragic event, it was important and sincere to reconnect with the many family members.”

Only a handful of family members were able to attend due to the COVID-19 social distancing guidelines and precautions. Among the family members that were able to attend were John P. Perez and Tech. Sgt. Joe Perez, 26th Aerial Port Squadron ramp service supervisor. Both were sons of Tech. Sgt. Daniel G. Perez, a member of the 433rd MAW and loadmaster on the BRAVO-12 mission. Other family members, friends and relatives watched the memorial ceremony through Facebook live.

“There are mixed emotions about this, like sadness, but also pride about the ceremony because even after 30 years, they still remember and it makes me and my family really appreciate it,” said Joe Perez. “With this being my brother’s first time attending a ceremony like this, he was very impressed and grateful to witness this event. That it made him feel special and he was very thankful.”

The anniversary memorial ceremony ended with the laying of a wreath at the BRAVO-12 memorial. Each of the fallen service members was remembered with a wreath with his name on it.

The service members of the 433rd Military Airlift Wing aircrew killed in the BRAVO-12 incident are:

  • Maj. John M. Gordon
  • Maj. Richard W. Chase
  • Maj. Richard M. Price
  • Senior Master Sgt. Carpio Villareal Jr.
  • Master Sgt. Rosendo Herrera
  • Tech. Sgt. Daniel G. Perez
  • Tech. Sgt. Lonty A. Knutson
  • Staff Sgt. Daniel Garza
  • Staff Sgt. Edward E. Sheffield

The four other service members that perished in the crash were:

  • Capt. Bradley R. Schuldt, 7th Air Division at Ramstein Air Base, Germany
  • Master Sgt. Samuel M. Gardner Jr., 31st Weather Squadron at Hahn Air Base, Germany
  • Staff Sgt. Marc H. Cleyman, 31st Weather Squadron At Hahn Air Base, Germany
  • Staff Sgt. Rande J. Hulec,  31st Weather Squadron at Ramstein Air Base, Germany

Four passengers aboard the aircraft survived. They are:

  • Lt. Col. Frederick K. Arzt Jr., 62nd MAW at McChord Air Force Base, Washington
  • Lt. Cynthia A. Borecky, 3rd Weather Squadron at England Air Force Base, Louisiana
  • Master Sgt. Dwight A. Pettit Jr.,  62nd MAW at McChord Air Force Base, Washington
  • Staff Sgt. Lorenzo Galvan Jr., 433rd MAW at Kelly Air Force Base, Texas