Virginia Public Safety Memorial
Thirty-two Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen who died in the line of duty on official state or federal orders under Title 32 of the United States Code are remembered at the Commonwealth Public Safety Memorial at Capitol Square in Richmond, Virginia, along with the nearly 900 Virginia public safety officers.
The memorial acknowledges each public safety officer with an engraving of their name, ensuring that their memory is never forgotten and providing a place where their families and colleagues can gather to remember them. The memorial is located in a 150 foot by 40 foot area in front of the Patrick Henry Building.
The following Virginia National Guard Airmen are remembered on the Public Safety Memorial:
- 2nd Lt. John H. “Jack” Loving: Airman from the 149th Fighter Squadron, 192nd Tactical Fighter Group died Dec. 28, 1948, when his F-47 Thunderbolt fighter plane crashed in the Chickahominy Swamp near Roxbury, Va.
- 2nd Lt. John L. Harris, Sgt. Robert F. Drewry, Sgt. Carl J. Toomey and Pvt. Benjamin F. Renick: Four Airmen from the 149th Fighter Squadron, 192nd Tactical Fighter Group were killed Jan. 22, 1949, when their B-26 invader plane exploded and crashed into the James River near Fort Eustis, Va.
- Tech. Sgt. James A. Childress: Airman firefighter died 9 May 9, 1960, during an accident while on an emergency response call at Byrd Airfield in Richmond, Va.
- 2nd Lt. Frederick A. D’Amico: Airman from the 149th Fighter Squadron, 192nd Tactical Fighter Group died Nov. 17, 1962, when his F-84 fighter jet crash in the York River near West Point, Va.
- Lt. Col. James P. Gunter: Airman from the 149th Fighter Squadron, 192nd Tactical Fighter Group died March 10, 1981, when his F-105D Thunderchief fighter bomber crashed during a training exercise at Fort Bragg, N. C.
- Maj. William J. Monahan: Airman from the 192nd Fighter Wing died Feb. 9, 1982, during a routine training mission while piloting a single-seat A-7D fighter-bomber which crashed into the water 20 miles north of Cape Hatteras, N. C.
Eighteen Airmen from the 203rd RED HORSE Squadron were killed on March 3, 2001, when they were returning home after completing a two-week military construction project at Hurlburt Field, Fla. The C-23 Sherpa they were flying in crashed in a cotton field near Unadilla, Ga.:
- Senior Master Sgt. James Beninati
- Tech. Sgt. Paul Blancato
- Master Sgt. Ernest Blawas
- Tech. Sgt. Andrew H. Bridges
- Senior Master Sgt. Eric Bulman
- Tech. Sgt. Paul Cramer
- Master Sgt. Michael East
- Tech. Sgt. Ronald Elkin
- Tech. Sgt. James Ferguson
- Tech. Sgt. Randy Johnson
- Staff Sgt. Mathrew Kidd
- Senior Master Sgt. Michael Lane
- Master Sgt. Edwin Richardson
- Master Sgt. Dean Shelby
- Tech. Sgt. John Sincavage
- Tech. Sgt. Gregory Skurupey
- Tech. Sgt Richard Summerell
- Maj. Frederick Watkins
The following Virginia National Guard Soldiers are remembered on the Public Safety Memorial:
- Staff Sgt. Phillip S. Menaugh: Soldier from Company B, 116th Infantry Brigade died in a training accident June 9, 1984, at Fort Bragg, N. C.
- Staff Sgt. Maynard W. Pitcock: Soldier from Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment died July 21, 1985, from medical complications during annual training.
- Master Sgt. David W. Powers: Soldier from Company A, 116th Support Battalion, 116th Infantry Brigade died July 26, 1985, from medical complications during annual training.
- 2nd Lt. Maria Anne Sherer: Soldier from 1032nd Transportation Company died in a vehicle accident Sept. 13, 1987, during a training exercise.
- Staff Sgt. Larry H. Comer: Soldier from 116th Infantry Brigade Headquarters died in a vehicle accident July 31, 1988, at Fort A. P. Hill, during a training exercise.
Ten Virginia National Guard Soldiers lost to hostile enemy action while on federal active duty are remembered at the new Shrine of Memory for the Global War on Terrorism and Beyond at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond, Virginia. Read more about the Virginia National Guard’s fallen warriors at https://ngpa.us/19912.
More information about the memorial is available at http://www.vpsf.org/memorial.
The standard for inclusion at the memorial is Virginia’s Line of Duty Act: any individual whose death occurs as the direct or proximate result of the performance of his duty as a member of the Virginia National Guard or the Virginia Defense Force while such member is serving in the Virginia National Guard or the Virginia Defense Force on official state duty or federal duty under Title 32 of the United States Code. More information about the line of duty act is available at https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+9.1-400.
According to the Virginia Public Safety Foundation website, anyone aware of someone who should be included in the memorial should call 804-648-6299 Ext. 1004. Additional information about adding names to the memorial is available at http://media.wix.com/ugd/39bc3f_91d18cdc7ab74f259942539d1dc5965f.pdf.