CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A memorial service was held Tuesday morning for the four North Carolina Air National Guard airmen killed when their plane crashed while fighting a wildfire.
The airmen's families, invited guests and members of the 145th Airlift Wing attended the private service at the unit's base in Charlotte.
Lt. Col. Paul Mikeal, 42, Maj. Joseph McCormick, 36, Maj. Ryan David, 35, and Senior Master Sgt. Robert Cannon, 50, all died July 1 when their C-130 crashed while fighting a wildfire in the South Dakota Black Hills. Two crewmen were injured.
In eulogizes his colleague, Maj. James Bodolosky said of McCormick, "If Joe said something, he was a man of his word. He was the most honorable man that I knew. He worked very hard to bring honor to himself, to his family, to his country."
The four men leave behind nine children, including the a baby boy born six months ago. Gov. Bev Perdue presented the men's widows with flags flown over the State Capitol.
Among the state officials attending Tuesday were Perdue, Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, the Democratic candidate for governor, and Pat McCrory, the Republican contender for governor.