Salutes & Awards

May 31, 2013

S.S. Mayaguez lost remembered, honored at Luke

Tags:
Airman 1st Class James Hensley
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Members of the Luke Air Force Base Honor Guard lower the American flag during the S.S. Mayaguez Memorial Retreat Ceremony May 16 at flag park. The ceremony was held to honor the security forces members who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.

The 56th Security Forces Squadron hosted an annual retreat ceremony May 16 at the Luke Air Force Base flag park in front of the 56th Fighter Wing headquarters building to honor the 23 men assigned to the 56th Special Operations Wing who lost their lives May 15, 1975.

Many people may not know why this ceremony still occurs after 38 years or what the history is of the S.S. Mayaguez incident. For Master Sgt. Katherine Mahana, 56th SFS installation security superintendent, knowing what it’s all about is very important.

“I love this event because of its history and it serves as an important reminder of those who are no longer with us,” she said. “I feel it’s important for our younger members to see this event, know its history and understand why we continue to perform this ceremony.”

The S.S. Mayaguez incident took place May 12 to 15, 1975. The Mayaguez was seized by the Khmer Rouge communist forces of Cambodia in international waters off the coast of Cambodia, which sparked an American military response. Before the S.S. Mayaguez was captured, it was sailing from Hong Kong to Sattahip, Thailand.

President Gerald Ford tried negotiating with the Khmer Khmer Rouge. After negotiations failed, he prompted a rescue operation, which resulted in the deaths of 41 Americans, including 18 Airmen and Marines. Forty-four others were wounded and three went missing in action. Eventually, the 39 men of the Mayaguez were found at tiny Kach Island, where they were freed. By noon, the Mayaguez crewmen were back aboard their ship.

The Mayaguez ceremony demonstrates how much respect security forces members have for their heritage.

“This event is something good to continue having to help preserve our history and to honor those who have fallen,” said Senior Airman Chris Vonhatten, 56th Security Forces Squadron NCO-in-charge of police services.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Courtesy Photo

Luke 1 holds first commander’s call

Courtesy Photo Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, 56th Fighter Wing commander, begins his first commander’s call at Luke Air Force Base Monday. Pleus took command of the fighter wing June 20. Brig. Gen Scott Pleus, 56th Fighter Wing com...
 
 

Balance, key to successful AF life

I believe proper balance is the key to a successful life in the Air Force. Over the years I’ve come to realize that it takes a concentrated effort to maintain balance between a professional life as an Air Force member and personal or family life. Both require constant learning, adjustments, development and attention. It’s easy...
 
 

Avoid claustrophobic career

I have heard many times that education is the great equalizer. The Air Force takes in people of all races, cultures and backgrounds and unifies them under simple beliefs and values. The enlisted force structure serves as the common language for force development, and education plays a major role. We all know education creates opportunity,...
 

 
James Hensley

No one flies until flight med gives OK

James Hensley Airman 1st Class Shawn Martinez, 56th Aerospace Medicine Squadron flight medicine technician, checks over the ambulance Aug. 19 with Staff Sgt. Jovanny Reyes, 56th AMDS medical technician, at Luke Air Force Base. ...
 
 

News Briefs August 29, 2014

Gate hours change The South Gate Visitor Registration Center hours have changed. They are 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Effective Tuesday, the North Gate is open inbound and outbound 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Also on Tuesday, the Kachina Gate will open inbound and outbound 6 a.m. to 10...
 
 

THUNDERBOLT OF THE WEEK

Senior Airman Brian Comia 56th Force Support Squadron Services journeyman Hometown: San Lorenzo, California Years in service: Three Family: Wife, Phoebe; daughters, Sophia and Isabella Inspirations: My family Goals: My short-term goal is to make staff sergeant next year Greatest feat: Becoming a U.S. citizen and having the pleasure and honor of serving this country...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin