Commemoration Event, 8/19/2006

of the 10th Anniversary of an Air Force C-130 Hercules transport crash while carrying 9 personnel of the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Secret Service in support of a visit to the Jackson area by former President Clinton and his family...

*** Latest update -  9/3/13

As of April 2009, I have spoken with someone involved in the investigation of the crash that day via his viewing of this website.  While nothing known has changed regarding the circumstances we all know were the cause of this tragedy, he wanted me to know & to pass on to the families and others interested, that good things have come from that investigation.  New devices to monitor terrain (GPWS), both forward and down-looking, have been installed on current aircraft.  The incident has been repeatedly briefed to new crews to this day, to help avoid any mistakes in information regarding civilian airports and local terrain.  Air Force regs, particularly AFM 51-37 (AFMAN 11-217, Vol. 1), have been updated to reflect information & procedures learned as a result of this crash.  This individual, wanted me to know & pass on to those so interested, that the sacrifice of these individuals, had value, meant something to those doing the investigation, and in the end, that they would not be forgotten.  After 13 years, it certainly affected him.  (The above has been confirmed separately by yet another member of the investigative team.)   If anyone is interested in visiting a forum of military who know of the event, flight rules changes as a result, knew the crew, or other related items to the crash of Havoc 58, you can check out this LINK.  Also attached to this LINK, or this LINK, are images of the crash aftermath.  wf

LINK to images from the event
LINK to images taken by friends at the site in 2013.

On August 17th, 1996, an Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft (Havoc 58) from Dyess AFB in Texas, crashed after dark on climbout just below the ridge into Sheep Mountain, also known locally as the Sleeping Indian (see images below).   All 9 persons on board died in the crash.  A year later in 1997, the community of Jackson, WY, erected a monument to this event in nearby Curtis Canyon.  10 years later, members of the Jackson community wish to remember this tragic occasion, on August 19th and 20th, 2006, by hosting the families of those lost during a commemoration at the monument, a BBQ, and some might also trek to the actual crash location.  In events such as this, it is the families that bear the loss and it is our wish to honor their sacrifice as well.  We wish to acknowledge that those in service to our country, do not only pay the ultimate sacrifice overseas or in war, but in peacetime and at home in America.

This event was supported by the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce, Jackson Hole Supports Our Troops (Sandra Bockman), Jackson's American Legion Post 43 (Walt Farmer), the Jackson Jaycees (Kelly Bass), U.S. Forest Service (Dave Cunningham), and the U.S. Secret Service Employee Recreation Assoc. (Lee Dotson). Other businesses or entities proffering support, discounts or subsidies, will be listed below on this page as they are volunteered.

Further updates on this webpage and in press releases, to inform the public, will be regularly posted.  It will be our privilege to honor these families, and those who served and all will be invited to share in that sentiment.  The public is most welcome to participate, especially during the memorial ceremonies on the 19th.

In honor of
USAF C-130 Crewmembers
Capt Kevin Earnest
Capt Kimberly Wielhouwer
2Lt Benjamin Hall
SSgt Michael Smith
SrA Rick Merritt
SrA Michael York
SrA Billy Ogston
Amn Thomas Stevens
U.S. Secret Service
Physical Security Specialist Aldo Frascoia

This was the schedule of events for the commemoration............

8/16 - Thursday - The flag at the American Legion post will be lowered to half-staff & a notice of this event placed in the notice box below the flag.
8/17 - Friday - 6pm - Bar-b-que at the Legion Hall for hosts, guests and families, hosted by the Jackson Jaycees and the SSERA.

8/19 - Saturday - 1pm - Families and others meet at the Legion Hall to shuttle/carpool out to the memorial site in Curtis Canyon, escorted by Sheriff Bob Zimmer.

Printable directions if traveling separately to the Memorial Plaque site at this LINK.

        2pm - Ceremonies at the Memorial location - the public is invited/encouraged to attend an pay respects.
                Invocation - Rev Ken Asel
                Comments by local officials: Teton Co. Sheriff Bob Zimmer, Jackson Mayor Mark Barron, Acting Forest
                    Supervisor John Peterson, U.S. Secret Service Asst. Director of Investigations Michael Stenger,
                    USAF representative - SSgt Peter Burger
                Comments by family members
                Letter(s) read from family members not able to attend
                Wreaths presented: Family members, Emergency Responders - GTNP Ranger Rick Guerreri,
                    American Legion Post 43 Commander, U.S. Secret Service - Michael Stenger,
                    USFS - John Peterson, Organizing Committee representative Sandra Bockman
                Benediction: Rev Ken Asel
                Military jet flyover - 3 passes, first for orientation and 2nd in missing-man formation, and the 3rd
                    was over the Memorial site with a missing-man breakaway - led by former Naval
                    LCDR Rich Sugden (w/USAF Capt Dave Macaluso - USAF Ret, and Peter Kline) - Well Done
                                        Fury Flight
                Salute and Taps: American Legion Post 43 and Fred Ryan
Flag at Legion Post raised back to full-staff.

8/20 - Sunday AM - Families and hosts will meet at the Legion Hall (Home-Ranch parking lot) to travel to trailhead for hike or horseback ride to the top of Sheep Mountain & visit the crash site.  (Not open to the general public.)

A big thank-you from our Organization committee to all who helped make this event a memorable one for these families.

Event Contacts:
Sandra Bockman - 307.543,2135

Capt Walt Farmer, USAF Ret. - 307.733.2173 or 690.6909

Lee Dotson - 307.307.690.0252

Locals/Merchants providing comps, discounts, or other offerings are:
Trapper Inn                                                          Town Square Inns
The Alpine House Inn B&B                                 Snow King Resort
Buckboard Transportation (shuttle rides for families)
U.S. Secret Service (organization, dinners)
American Legion Post 43 (wreaths, host)             Jackson Jaycees (organization, dinners)
Joe Albright and Flat Creek Ranch- (horses, guide)
Jeff Lutz & Industrial Strength Music                 Anonymous
Teton Aviation (Flyover)                                        Jesse O'Connor
EagleRider of Jackson Hole (shuttle vans)           Judy Moses (rodeo tickets)
Bob Barlow (horses - outfitter)                              Fred Ryan (Bugler)
Gros Ventre River Ranch                                     Jackson Hole Rodeo

Event was covered by several area newspapers and TV stations, the links to which are no longer active.

1 Image CNN

2Sleeping Indian from Hwy. 89

3Memorial plaque

4Memorial site - parking


Click on Image to bring up larger image.  Then scroll left/right to see full image.


All images: Walt Farmer

Sent to webmaster on 3/5/12 & reprinted here w/permission:
Hello, my name is Ben Kesler. I came across your website researching my long ago buddy Billy Ogston. I was stationed with Billy at Dyess back in mid 90’s. We were young then and I have thought about him and his family often. At the time we were both young and ambitious crew chiefs and well respected by our ability and our demeanor. I still remember Billy being willing to do anything and his work ethic was unsurpassed. I still think about him often.  When the news of the crash came in we were all devastated. I still remember this day as it was yesterday.  When the crash occurred I was one that went to his wifes house to bring the “blues” for the ceremony at Dyess (AFB). I was only in my early 20’s at the time but I remember it like it was yesterday.  As I am older now I look back, Billy was a vibrant young man full of potential, it saddens me that he lost his life so many years ago. I guess I just wanted to say I do not and will not forget Billy, he was my friend young in life and as I grow older, I still remember my young friend as he was. Im sure his family knows what a special young man Billy was.  I hope to visit the memorial site some day.
Best Regards,
Ben W. Kesler