Three American firefighters who have tragically passed away while water-bombing bushfires in Australia have been identified and branded heroes.
Flight Engineer Rick DeMorgan Jnr, First Officer Paul Hudson, and Captain Ian McBeth had been fighting the Peak View blaze in New South Wales when their aircraft suddenly crashed from unknown causes.
Upon contact with the ground, the jet exploded and instantly killed all three firefighters.
44-year-old Mr. McBeth was a dedicated firefighter who served the Coulson Aviation and the army for years. He was also a husband and a loving father-of-three.
42-year-old Mr. Hudson was a prominent Marine who had been serving the United States Marine Corps for two decades. Among other positions attained during his service, the man also became a C-130 pilot.
43-year-old Mr. DeMorgan racked up over 4,000 hours of experience, including thousands of hours in a combat environment, throughout his years of service. He was also a husband and a father-of-two.
After arriving in the bushfire-ravaged country at the beginning of November, the three heroes have flown up to eight times per day and dropped some 2 million liters of water on fires to stop them from spreading before their fatal mission.
In a tribute to the hardworking men who lost their lives while saving others, RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said:
“It is a confronting and sobering reminder of the inherent risks associated with firefighting and we’ve seen all too often this season.
“Our hearts are with all those that are suffering what is the loss of three remarkable, well-respected crew that have invested so many decades of their life into firefighting.”
As Arthur Culvahouse, the U.
S.Ambassador to Australia, added, “the brave Americans who died near Snowy Monaro died helping Australia in its time of need. The families and friends of those who we have lost are in our thoughts and prayers. Thank you, Australia, for your sympathy and solidarity.
Paying respects to the fallen firefighters was also U.S. VP Mike Pence who wrote:
“Karen & I send our prayers & deep condolences to the families of the 3 brave American firefighters who died in AUS yesterday while on their way to battle the terrible bushfires. Our Nation will always honor the memory of those lost in the line of duty working to help others.”
What are your thoughts on this news? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to SHARE this post with your family and friends and follow us on Facebook for more news and stories!