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Kentucky National Guard Memorial

Honoring Their Sacrifice

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Medley, John M (P3, C1, L31)

medley john m vlc snapMaster Sergeant John Marion Medley, 38, of Louisville, Jefferson County, perished on 6 February 1992 in Evansville, Indiana when a Kentucky Air National Guard Lockheed C-130B “Hercules” crashed during a training flight.

Medley was serving as a Loadmaster with 165th Airlift Squadron of the Kentucky Air National Guard. In his civilian life he was employed by Kroger. Medley enlisted in the Kentucky Air National Guard in May 1976 after serving four years on active duty with the U. S. Air Force. Prior to his assignment as a loadmaster, Medley served as an imagery production technician with the 165th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron. His awards and decorations include: the Air Force Commendation Medal; Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters; Air Force Good Conduct Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Air Force Longevity Service Ribbon with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters; Armed Forces Reserve Medal; Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters; Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon; and the Air Force Training Ribbon.

Medley is buried in the Saint Francis of Assisi Catholic Cemetery in Marion County.

At 9:53 a.m., 6 February 1992, a Kentucky Air National Guard C-130B military transport plane crashed at the site of a hotel and restaurant complex, located at U.S. Highway 41 and Lynch Road, less than one mile south of the Evansville Regional Airport while performing routine pilot proficiency exercises. The crew consisted of an experienced instructor pilot, two co-pilots, a flight engineer, and a loadmaster. The crash and resulting fire killed all five crew members and 11 civilians on the ground – nine in the hotel and two in the adjacent restaurant. In addition to those who died at the scene, one of the emergency responders, an Evansville Police Officer, died 24 February, as a result of injuries he sustained working at the crash site.

The other members of the Kentucky Air National Guard crew killed in the crash were: Master Sergeant William G. Hawkins, Captain Warren J. Klingaman, Major Richard A. Strang and Second Lieutenant Vincent D. Yancar.

The civilian casualties in the incident were: Darrel D. Arnold; Charles R. Berqwitz; Robert A. Hayes; David W. Horton; Ronnie E. Keown; Matthew J. Prasek; Thomas R. Ruby; John R. Stallings; Harry M. Tenbarge; Matthew Phipps; Lynette Scott and James Gibson, Jr.

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BELOW: A Kentucky Air National Guard 123d Airlift Wing C-130 performs a cargo drop at the new Master Sgt. John Medley Drop Zone at Fort Knox, Ky., Sept. 14, 2010. The drop zone is named after Master Sergeant Medley. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Phil Speck)

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medley-drop-zone video

Medley Drop Zone
Video by Master Sgt. Diane Stinnett
123rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
A new drop zone at Fort Knox, Kentucky was named for Master Sgt. John Medley, a loadmaster with the Kentucky Air National Guard who died in a C-130 Aircraft crash in February of 1992. Produced by Tech. Sgt. Diane Stinnett


123rd mourns loss of crew
The Cargo Courier March 7, 1992 Page 1

By Capt. Steve Bullard

Personnel of the Kentucky Air National Guard paused for 11 days in February to mourn and honor five of its members who perished in the tragic crash of a C-130B transport plane Feb. 6 near the Evansville Dress Regional Airport in Indiana.

The five crew members: Maj. Richard A. Strang, 39 of Floyds Knobs, Ind.; Capt. Warren J. Klingaman, 29 of Louisville; 1st Lt. Vincent D. “Rin” Yancar, 25 of Louisville; Master Sgt. William G. Hawkins, 41 of Crestwood, Ky; and Master Sgt. John M. Medley, 38 of Louisville, were honored during a memorial ceremony Feb. 9 at the KyANG base at Standiford Field.

About 3,000 personnel, friend and family members attended the televised ceremony. Guest participants included Lt. Gen. John B. Conaway, chief of the National Guard Bureau in Washington and former air commander of Kentucky's 123rd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing; Gov. Brereton C. Jones; and U.S. Rep. Romano Mazzoli of Louisville. A memorial sermon was given by Chaplains Charles Smith, Thomas Curry and Roger Dill.

The crash happened around 10:30 a.m. about one mile from the airport's runways. The aircraft, on a routine training mission, hit the local Jojo's restaurant and an adjacent Drury Inn motel. Response from Air Force and National Guard units from Kentucky and Indiana was immediate and support units quickly arrived at the scene.

Typical of the Guard’s response was 17 security police specialist of the 123rd SPF. Under the direction of senior Master Sgt. Dave Pope, most were volunteers who left their civilian work places immediately and arrived at Evansville crash site by early evening.

Several members of the deployed unit stayed throughout the state and national safety board's on-site investigation and the site clean-up, which took about three weeks.

A group of KyANG aircrew members set up the KyANG’s C-130 Aircrew Family Memorial Fund to benefit families of the five aircrew members.

Guard units in Nashville and Martinsburg, W.V., voluntarily flew KyANG personnel to the funerals of Strang in Tyner, Ind., Klingaman in Advance, Mo., and Yancar in Largo, Fla. Hawkins was buried at the Duncan Memorial Chapel in Crestwood and Medley was buried at St. Francis Cemetery in St. Francis, Ky.

The KyANG resumed flying schedules Feb 18 following an 11-day layoff.



The Kentucky National Guard Memorial Fund, Inc., is a recognized 501(c)(3). EIN 26-3705273

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