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97th IS, Prop Wash Gang host remembrance ceremony honoring crewmembers of 60528

Senior Airman Zachary, Offutt Air Force Base Honor Guard member, lays a wreath and roses next to a piece of C-130 wreckage from 60528, an aircraft which was shot down in the Cold War, during a remembrance ceremony held Aug. 30, 2018, at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. The ceremony was attended by members of the 97th Intelligence Squadron, the Prop Wash Gang, a group of retired ISR operators, family members and fellow wingman to the fallen. (U.S. Air Force photo by L. Cunningham)

Senior Airman Zachary, Offutt Air Force Base Honor Guard member, lays a wreath and roses next to a piece of C-130 wreckage from 60528, an aircraft which was shot down in the Cold War, during a remembrance ceremony held Aug. 30, 2018, at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. The ceremony was attended by members of the 97th Intelligence Squadron, the Prop Wash Gang, a group of retired ISR operators, family members and fellow wingman to the fallen. (U.S. Air Force photo by L. Cunningham)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Ken, 97th Intelligence Squadron superintendent of operations support, stands and salutes along with a formation of 97th IS Airman as “Taps,” plays during the 60528 Remembrance Ceremony Aug. 30, 2018, at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. The ceremony was held in remembrance of 17 crewmembers who lost their lives when 60528, a C-130 modified to fly reconnaissance missions, was shot down during the Cold War.  (U.S. Air Force photo by L. Cunningham)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Ken, 97th Intelligence Squadron superintendent of operations support, stands and salutes along with a formation of 97th IS Airman as “Taps,” plays during the 60528 Remembrance Ceremony Aug. 30, 2018, at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. The ceremony was held in remembrance of 17 crewmembers who lost their lives when 60528, a C-130 modified to fly reconnaissance missions, was shot down during the Cold War. (U.S. Air Force photo by L. Cunningham)

Retired U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Lonnie Henderson, an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance retiree and Prop Wash Gang member, speaks during the 60528 Remembrance Ceremony held Aug. 30, 2018, at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. The ceremony was held to honor the 17 crewmembers who were lost during the Cold War when their C-130, which was modified to fly reconnaissance missions, was shot down. The aircraft’s tail number was 60528. The ceremony was attended by members of the Prop Wash Gang, a group of retired Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance operators, family members and fellow wingman to the fallen and ISR professionals. (U.S. Air Force Photo by L. Cunningham)

Retired U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Lonnie Henderson, an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance retiree and Prop Wash Gang member, speaks during the 60528 Remembrance Ceremony held Aug. 30, 2018, at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. The ceremony was held to honor the 17 crewmembers who were lost during the Cold War when their C-130, which was modified to fly reconnaissance missions, was shot down. The aircraft’s tail number was 60528. The ceremony was attended by members of the Prop Wash Gang, a group of retired Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance operators, family members and fellow wingman to the fallen and ISR professionals. (U.S. Air Force Photo by L. Cunningham)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Daniel Thrower, Heartland of America Band hornist, plays “Taps,” during the 60528 Remembrance Ceremony Aug. 30, 2018, at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. The ceremony was held to honor the 17 crewmembers who were lost during the Cold War when their C-130, which was modified to fly reconnaissance missions, was shot down. The aircraft’s tail number was 60528. (U.S. Air Force Photo by L. Cunningham)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Daniel Thrower, Heartland of America Band hornist, plays “Taps,” during the 60528 Remembrance Ceremony Aug. 30, 2018, at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. The ceremony was held to honor the 17 crewmembers who were lost during the Cold War when their C-130, which was modified to fly reconnaissance missions, was shot down. The aircraft’s tail number was 60528. (U.S. Air Force Photo by L. Cunningham)

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. --

The 97th Intelligence Squadron and the Prop Wash Gang hosted a 60528 remembrance ceremony Aug. 30, 2018 at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska to honor 17 crewmembers who lost their lives 60 years ago.

The number 60528 was the tail number of a C-130 modified to fly reconnaissance missions. On Sept. 2, 1958, the aircraft inadvertently entered restricted airspace over the Turkish and Armenian border where it was intercepted and shot down by Soviet MiG-17 aircraft. It crashed near the village of Sasnashen, 34 miles northwest of Yerevan, the Armenian capital. 

“It’s important that we don’t let history bury these heroic deeds that were done by these people,” said Master Sgt. Ken, 97th IS superintendent of operations support. “The Air Force has to take a pause and remember the sacrifice these aircrew members paid.”

During the ceremony, members of the Prop Wash Gang, a group of retired intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operators, along with their family members and fellow wingmen paid tribute to the fallen Airmen as a wreath was placed on a small piece of wreckage from the C-130. There was also a moment of silence and the playing of “Taps” in recognition of the 17 crewmembers who lost their lives Sept. 2, 1958, while performing their mission.

“There’s not a mission we don’t take into account that was done before us,” Ken said. “These are the giants, and we stand on their shoulders. In this career, you serve in silence - you don’t talk about your job. It’s important when we lose people to have these intimate gathering; we take a pause and we remember there were lots of sacrifices during the Cold War that were not necessarily spoken of.”

Because the incident occurred during the Cold War era, ISR related missions were rarely discussed.

Once the Cold War ended, a U.S. team located and identified the rest of the crew member’s remains. The remains were returned and buried with full honors at Arlington Nation Cemetery.

More than 40 reconnaissance aircraft were shot down during the Cold War era. Many of the crews still remain missing in action. However, agencies such as the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency continue efforts to identify and return as many as possible.

The six aircrew members and eleven security service reconnaissance crew members of 60528 are listed below:

Capt Edward J. Jeruss

Capt. Paul E. Duncan

Capt Rudy J. Swiestra

1Lt John E. Simpson

1Lt Ricardo M. Villarreal

MSgt George P. Petrochilos

TSgt Arthur L. Mello

SSgt Laroy Price

A1C Robert J. Oshinskie

A2C Archie T. Bourg Jr.

A2C Clement O. Mankins

A2C Gerald D. Maggiacomo

A2C Gerald H. Medeiros

A2C Harold T. Kamps

A2C James E. Ferguson, Jr.

A2C Joel H. Fields

A2C Robert H. Moore