Corpus Christi Coast Guard holds remembrance ceremony for lost crew

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Personnel from Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi held a wreath-laying ceremony in Corpus Christi Monday, in remembrance of the crew of an HU-16E Albatross, tail number 2123, which crashed in 1973.

The wreath-laying ceremony was held at Sherill Park to honor the crew of 2123. On Sept. 21, 1973, the crew of 2123 was involved in a search and rescue case approximately one-half mile off the Port Aransas coast. The crew included Lt. j.g. Jerald M. Mack, a graduate of Irving High School and North Texas University.

The crew of 2123 began deploying flares during the search and rescue effort, when a flare was accidentally ignited inside the aircraft causing a fire and ultimately the Albatross’ crash. All six crewmembers perished in the crash. The crew included:

  • Lt. Cmdr. Francis W. Miller
  • Lt. j.g. Jerald M. Mack
  • Petty Officer 1st Class Harold D. Brown, Jr.
  • Petty Officer 2nd Class Benjamin R. Gaskins, Jr.
  • Petty Officer 2nd Class John F. Harrison
  • Petty Officer 2nd Class John P. Pledger

“Of the many traditions of our service, there is none more important than the one we gathered for on Monday; to remember and honor the service and sacrifice of our comrades who went out to aid a mariner in distress, but did not return. We are humbled by their example. Let us never forget their sacrifice, and remain ever mindful of the dangers of our profession and the fragility of human life,” said Capt. Robert Paulison, commanding officer of Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi.

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