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



CHARLOTTE, N.C. - 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.