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 Thomas James Claiborne

Thomas James Claiborne

Colorado, USA
Death 29 Oct 2009 (aged 26)
San Diego, San Diego County, California, USA
Burial Denver, Denver County, Colorado, USA
Plot Section 13 Site 746
Memorial ID 47218674 · View Source
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Sacramento Bee, The (CA) - Monday, November 2, 2009
Author: Loretta Kalb ;

The U.S. Coast Guard shifted Sunday from a search and rescue mission to a recovery operation for nine crew members lost in a disastrous crash off the San Diego coast.

The search for survivors was suspended shortly before 10 a.m. after a final rescue effort by a Coast Guard Jayhawk helicopter returned with no promising news. So ended 63 hours of search over more than 644 square miles of the Pacific Ocean.

"It's not likely that anyone would have survived," Lt. Josh Nelson, the Coast Guard's public affairs officer in San Diego, told The Bee.

Seven people were aboard a Coast Guard C-130 Hercules plane that left Sacramento on a mission to find a skiff with one aboard reported missing near Catalina Island. Two people were inside a Marine Corps helicopter on a training mission out of Camp Pendleton. The two aircraft collided Thursday night.

Coast Guard officials said Sunday they would not speculate on the cause of the collision.

The commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard has called for an investigation, which is ongoing, said Capt. J.J. O'Connor, commanding officer of the Coast Guard Air Station in Sacramento, where the C-130 departed for its ill-fated flight on Thursday night.

A multi-agency joint mishap analysis board that includes the Coast Guard and Marine Corps will help guide the decision on the extent and duration of salvage efforts, Nelson said.

Among the questions for investigators is aircraft collision avoidance systems. The Coast Guard C-130 does have a collision avoidance system, which detects another aircraft in the area provided the other craft's transponder is squawking, Nelson said.

Investigators also will be looking for the on-board recording system for details on the crash.

The missing boater, identified as 50-year-old David Thomas Jines of Avalon, Catalina Island, has not been found, Petty Officer Christina Bozeman of the Los Angeles-Long Beach Coast Guard station said Sunday.

She said the search for Jines had continued despite the Thursday night casualties, but ended Saturday.

The Jayhawk's four-member crew on Sunday morning saw some debris from the crash area before returning to San Diego, Nelson said. The debris was not widely dispersed because winds were benign, he said.

The nearly 200 members of the Sacramento Coast Guard station stood down after the crash and will remain so until next Monday. Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point Hawaii has stepped in to handle Sacramento station calls.

In the shade of a C-130 plane at McClellan on Sunday, O'Connor said at a news conference that four chaplains and a number of grief counselors had arrived to help the families of the missing crew members as well as the nearly 200 members of the Sacramento Coast Guard station.

"The Coast Guard family at large and especially here in Sacramento is grieving and coping with our loss," O'Connor said.

Chaplain Mark Smith, a captain in the Navy Chaplain Corps, which also serves the Marine Corps and Coast Guard, said he arrived Sunday morning in Sacramento to assist Chaplain Darrell Wesley.

Wesley, a Navy Chaplain Corps commander, came to Sacramento as soon as he heard about the collision, Smith said.

"He came here from Alameda, because they know him," Smith said.

Smith said chaplains and counselors are giving grieving family members and Coast Guard members "a chance to talk and help put things into perspective and help focus their efforts to honor the people they care about."

The Coast Guard is holding a memorial service for the crew to be attended by family and friends at 11 a.m. Friday at McClellan Air Park in North Highlands.

Officials said Sunday night they will announce this week whether the memorial service will be open to the public.


Coast Guard crew: Lt. Cmdr. Che J. Barnes, 35, Capay, aircraft commander; Lt. Adam W. Bryant, 28, Crewe, Va., co-pilot; Chief Petty Officer John F. Seidman, 43, Carmichael, flight engineer; Petty Officer 2nd Class Carl P. Grigonis, 35, Mayfield Heights, Ohio, navigator; Petty Officer 2nd Class Monica L. Beacham, 29, Decaturville, Tenn., radio operator; Petty Officer 2nd Class Jason S. Moletzsky, 26, Norristown, Pa., air crew; and Petty Officer 3rd Class Danny R. Kreder II, 22, Elm Mott, Texas, drop master.

Marine Corps crew: Maj. Samuel Leigh , 35, Kennebec, Maine; 1st Lt. Thomas Claiborne, 26, Parker, Colo.


1st Lt US Marine Corps
Persian Gulf





  • Created by: Pennsylvania Lady
  • Added: 27 Jan 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 47218674
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Thomas James Claiborne (30 Aug 1983–29 Oct 2009), Find A Grave Memorial no. 47218674, citing Fort Logan National Cemetery, Denver, Denver County, Colorado, USA ; Maintained by Pennsylvania Lady (contributor 39530540) .