7th SOS remembers WRATH-11

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Alvaro Villagomez
  • 100 ARW PA

ROYAL AIR FORCE MILDENHALL, England – The 7th Special Operations Squadron gathered to remember the 17th anniversary of the WRATH-11 crash in a ceremony, March 31, honoring the nine aircrew members who lost their lives.

“Today marked the 17th anniversary of the WRATH-11 tragedy, while many in attendance today knew these nine men personally, many do not,” said Lt. Col. Robert Meyersohn, 7th SOS commander. “We are forever connected to them through shared ideals, love of country and respect for a life of service.”

On March 31, 2005, two MC-130H and one MC-130P Shadow aircraft were participating in a night training mission. At about 11:05 a.m., a 7th SOS MC-130H, call sign WRATH-11, crashed into a mountain, resulting in the loss of all nine aircrew aboard.

The 7th SOS honor the WRATH-11 crew each year by gathering together for a moment of silence and raising a toast to their fallen comrades in remembrance of their valiant efforts.

“It’s sacred because we’ve all chosen to dedicate a moment every year to reflect on our own choices to serve and sacrifice, to remember the danger we willingly expose ourselves to when asked the question, ‘Who will go and who can I send?’ We answer without hesitation, ’Here I am, send me!’” said Meyersohn.

The ceremony ended with a bagpiper playing the anthem of the 7th SOS and the closing remarks by Lt. Col. Meyersohn.

“I think it’s very important to maintain the legacy of WRATH-11, we are willing to sacrifice and endure hardships because of the examples set by those who came before us,” said Tech. Sgt. Quinn Taylor, 7th SOS flight engineer. “Memorial events like the one held today are important reminders of that.”

Below are the nine fallen comrades:

From the 7th SOS

U.S. Air Force Capt. Todd R. Bracy, pilot, 34, of Murphysboro, Illinois

U.S. Air Force Capt. James S. Cronin, navigator, 32, of Oak Grove Village, Illinois

U.S. Air Force Capt. Surender D. Kothakota, co-pilot, 30, of Fayetteville, North Carolina

U.S. Air Force Capt. Gil C. Williamson, electronic warfare officer, 31, of Dike, Texas

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Ray C. Owens, Jr., electronic warfare officer, 32, of Birmingham, Alabama

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Lawrence B. Gray, flight engineer, 40, of Chester, South Carolina

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. James R. Henry, loadmaster, 30, of Valparaiso, Florida

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Patrick R. Pentico, loadmaster, 22, of Hanksville, Utah

From Detachment 2, 25th Intelligence Squadron

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Glenn P. Lastes, direct support operator, 39, of Southington, Connecticut