I remember hearing a special news report on the radio on May 13, 1995, about an Air Force cargo plane crashing in southern Idaho. This was of interest as I am originally from Southern Idaho and a family friend (Bob Buckhout) had been scheduled to fly in an Air Force cargo plane from Peterson AFB, in Colorado Springs, Colorado to Gowen Field in Boise, Idaho (my hometown) and return on this very day.
In fact his wife (Nit Buckhout) was with my wife at home and preparing to pick up Bob at nearby Peterson AFB when he returned. I made a call home to inform my wife of what I heard on the radio and Nit immediately left our house and returned home to find members of the 302nd Airlift Wing waiting to make the official notification of the crash.
A couple of weeks after the accident I was able to travel to Boise, Idaho and accompany unit and family members to the actual crash site where they dedicated a memorial marker and flag.
I have since been to the crash site several times and have viewed several stones, placards and flags which are occasionally replaced at the actual crash site, near Bliss, Idaho, by well-wishers, recovery crew, and family members of the crew.
A memorial had been dedicated in front of the 302nd Airlift Wing headquarters at Peterson AFB, Colorado, to the crew on the 10th anniversary of the crash in May, 2005.
Here is my memorial Facebook page for Sumit 38, please visit:
May 13, 1995 – C-130E, 62-1838, c/n 3801, ‘Sumit 38’, operated by the 302d Airlift Wing, Peterson AFB, Colorado. Number 2 engine caught fire at a cruise altitude of 26K ft AGL after departing Boise, Idaho. One loadmaster activated all fire extinguisher carts, initially quenching the fire. However, fire re-ignited and the aircraft had no further extinguishers available. Crew attempted to divert to Mountain Home AFB, Idaho (MUO). Number 2 engine improperly disengaged from its mount, causing severe fuselage and wing damage. Wing eventually severed completely from the airframe, causing ‘Sumit 38’ to crash approximately 23 minutes after leaving Boise, killing all six crewmembers:
- Lt. Col. Robert Buckhout – 302nd Airlift Wing – Director of Safety
- Captain Geoffery Boyd – 731st Airlift Squadron – Navigator
- 1st Lt. Lance Dougherty – 731st Airlift Squadron – Pilot
- CMSgt. Jimmie Vail – 731st Airlift Squadron – Chief Flight Engineer
- MSgt. Jay Kemp – 731st Airlift Squadron – Loadmaster Instructor
- SSgt. Michael Scheideman – 731st Airlift Squadron – Loadmaster
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of each of these brave men lost that day. – I am the Real Truckmaster!