MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - A memorial dedication to the crew of 6535 is underway at the U.S. Coast Guard Aviation Training Center in Mobile.
The dedication is in memory of LCDR Dale T.Taylor, LTJG Thomas J. Cameron, ASTC Fernando Jorge and AET3 Andrew "Drew" W. Knight.
U.S. Coast Guard officials said the four men were on a training mission when their helicopter went down February 28, 2012.
The memorial was the focus of everyone's admiration. Made out of granite and stainless steel, it's a work of art. What makes it special? The faces of the four men etched into the monument. And the lives they represent.
Commanding Officer Captain Tom Maine gave remarks in remembrance of each crew member.
He said Dale Taylor was known to literally give the shirt off of his back to someone in need.
"We will remember Tom Cameron as a gifted athlete, natural leader, talented pilot full of promise," Maine said.
Maine said Fernando Jorge will be remembered as a great brother, mentor, teacher, Uncle and friend.
"We will remember Drew Knight as a mature and gifted young man who found his place in the Coast Guard while the same time remaining firmly rooted in the small town values he learned from his family," said Maine.
Investigators have yet to release the cause of the accident.
"We are still going through the mishap analysis. We know that there was a problem when they were transitioning from hovering into forward flight and going onto their instruments," said Commandant of USCG Robert Papp Jr.,
Coast Guard officials said private donations funded the monument was built, with a lot of support from the local community.
"Mobile businesses, Mobile individuals, community groups stepped forward immediately and said, ‘We want to help. what can we do?" Maine said.
The memorial is a promise that the crew's memory will live on.
"Each one of the crewman is actually in their crew positions, their normal crew position, as you look up at the helicopter. So it's very beautiful. It's a wonderful, wonderful, monument that will here forever," Maine said.
A second memorial was also re-dedicated today at the training center, in memory of the crew of HH-52A CG1427. It honors the men who died in a helicopter crash 31 years ago during a training mission.
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