Four Killed in Pave Hawk Crash

The Air Force has released the names of the four airmen killed when their HH-60 Pave Hawk crashed on the Norfolk Coast of Eastern England on Jan. 7. The two pilots were Capt. Christopher S. Stover and Capt. Sean M. Ruane. The special mission aviators killed were TSgt. Dale E. Mathews and SSgt. Afton M. Ponce. All four crewmembers were assigned to the 56th Rescue Squadron at RAF Lakenheath, England. “The loss of our Liberty Wing brethren is felt deeply across RAF Lakenheath,” said Col. Kyle Robinson, 48th Fighter Wing commander. “I can only imagine the hurt and sorry felt by the family and friends of these airmen. You are in our hearts and minds.” The aircraft was conducting low-level training along the coast when the crash occurred at approximately 6 p.m. local time, officials stated. “Police continue to work with various partner agencies to piece together the exact circumstances concerning the crash,” Norfolk Constabulary Chief Superintendent Bob Scully said in a statement. “It remains a challenging, lengthy process due to the difficult terrain and the size of the area,” he added. The recovery was hampered by incoming tides, which forced officials to move the wreckage, as well as scattered live ammunition, according to police. The accident remains under investigation.