Airmen killed in plane crash to be laid to rest

by: Holly Maynard Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Funeral arrangements for the four guardsmen killed in a plane crash have been set.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Air National Guard officially released the names of the four men who died in the crash. Brig. General Tony McMillan said all four were experienced aviators and dedicated public servants.

"We have four new wingmen watching over us," he said.

McMillan then released details on those men. Lt. Col. Paul Mikeal from Mooresville was a pilot with more than 20 years of service who leaves behind a wife and two children. Maj. Joseph McCormick was an instructor pilot who lived in Belmont with a wife and four kids. Maj. Ryan David lived in Boone with his wife and one child. The navigator joined the guard after leaving the active-duty Air Force. And Senior Master Sgt. Robert "Robbie" Cannon served in the unit for 29 years. The evaluator flight engineer lived in Charlotte with his wife and two kids.

"They loved the guard, but they loved their family, and they were committed to both," said Debbie Kidd, a chaplain for the Air National Guard.

The men were dropping fire retardant on the wildfire in South Dakota Sunday night when the crash happened.

Eyewitness News was with them as they packed up their plane Saturday morning before they took off. The plane was specially equipped for fighting fires, and after the crash the other C130 planes on that mission were grounded.

Tuesday, the military resumed the firefighting missions but the other two planes that had also left from Charlotte on Saturday retured back home.

"These people knew each other well, and they're going through a tough time,” Lt. Col. Robert Carver with the Air Force said.

The funeral services for Maj. Ryan Scott David will take place on Saturday, July 14 at 2 p.m. at the Appalachian State University Holmes Convocation Center with burial to follow at Woodlawn Cemetery in Blowing Rock, NC.

The funeral services for Maj. Joseph M. McCormick will take place on Friday, July 13 at 10 a.m. at South Point Baptist Church. The family will receive friends from 5 - 8 p.m., Thursday at the church.

Burial with full Military Honors will be at Evergreen -"A Quiet Place".

The funeral services for Robert Cannon will take place on Sunday, July 15 at 2 p.m. at Carmel Baptist Church on 1145 Pineville-Matthews Road Charlotte, NC 28105.

The family will receive friends from at 4 p.m.