Private memorial to be held for local airmen killed in South Dakota crash



The Air National Guard still hasn’t said when the bodies of four airmen killed while fighting western wildfires will be brought back to Charlotte.

They died one week ago in a crash in South Dakota.

The 145th Airlift Wing Unit will hold a private memorial for them Tuesday, but it will be closed to the public.

The unit will allow news cameras inside, so Channel 9 will be able to cover the story.

Two people who were aboard the C-130 survived last Sunday’s crash.

One of those men is Josh Marlowe of Shelby.

Marlow’s father-in-law told Channel 9 the family is still waiting to find out when he can come home.

Marlowe is at a Chapel Hill hospital going through testing.

Those airmen were flying a C-130 plane with special fire-fighting equipment aboard.  The plane sprays a special fire retardant, but the only company that makes the equipment went out of business a year ago.

The U.S. Forest Service said it has enough major parts in warehouses and technicians who know how to fix the machines to keep the firefighting systems operational.