Members of the 1st Special Operations Squadron visited the crash site of Stray 59 Feb. 26, to drop a wreath in honor for the eight aircrew members and 15 passengers who died there. The memorial flight has been flown by the 1st SOS every year since the crash 37 years ago.
On Feb. 26, 1981, during the crew’s last mission of a 16-day exercise hosted by the U.S. Navy SEALS, the crew of an MC-130E with the call sign STRAY 59 worked to extract a joint multination special operations forces team from Naval Air Station Cubi Point, Philippines.
Shortly after loading the passengers and taking off, without any indication of a problem, the STRAY 59 crew made a call to the ground radio station to report normal operations.
Minutes later, a local fisherman witnessed the 1st SOS Combat Talon I crash into the water. One survivor, the electronic warfare officer, was thrown from the aircraft and rescued by a local.