Gehringer, Ralph W.

Ralph W. Gehringer, Captain, USAF (Fallen)
July 22, 1961 – August 14, 1987

Captain Ralph W. Gehringer, USAF, 26, died in a helicopter accident near Pope AFB, North Carolina, Friday, August 14, 1987.

He was born in Denver Colorado and was a 1979 graduate of Clover Park High School, a 1982 graduate of Washington State University, where he was a Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Air Force ROTC; he was also a Distinguished Graduate of the Rotary Wing Aircraft Course at Ft. Rucker, Alabama. He was a Presbyterian and an Eagle Scout.

Survivors: parents, John (Jack) and Lucille Gehringer, Tacoma; brothers, John L., Parkland and David P., Tacoma; sister, Virginia A., Ellensburg: grandfather, Harold Lawrence, Charlestown, New Hampshire; fiancée, Teresa Case, Niceville, Florida; two nieces; numerous uncles, aunts and cousins.

Military graveside services and memorial services at Little Church on the Prairie will be announced.

Memorials may be made to Little Church on the Prairie. Arrangements by Mountain View F.H.

Published in The News Tribune, 16 Aug 1987, Sun, Page 12 (Tacoma, Washington)


UH-60A #81-23647
Pope AFB, NC.
14 August 1987

A UH-60A #81-23647 Black Hawk helicopter (Call sign “Hawk 47”) assigned to the 55th ARRS at Eglin AFB, FL., crashed near Pope AFB, NC. Aug. 14, killing its four crew members.

Dead are: Capt. Ralph Gehringer, 26 from Tacoma, WA., aircraft commander; Capt. Jeffrey Stevens, 26, Billings, MT., instructor pilot, and SrA. Jeff Beseke, 21, Alexandria, MN., flight engineer. All were assigned to the 55th ARRS.

The fourth crew member was Maj. Kenneth Reinhard, 42, from Cibolo, TX., a helicopter pilot and an air operations officer from Detachment 2, 23rd Air Force at Fort Bragg, NC. Maj. Reinhard was being given his ‘fini’ flight as he had retired from active duty that day.

The UH-60 helicopter and its three Eglin crew members had been at Pope since Aug. 11 for training. The helicopter departed Pope Aug. 14 at 3:30 p.m. EDT on a training mission to Andrews AFB, MD.

The helicopter crashed in a heavily wooded area on Fort Bragg, about four miles north of Pope AFB. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Air Force has nine other UH-60A Black Hawks assigned to the 39th ARRWg at Eglin AFB. The helicopters, in standard Army configuration, are used for search and rescue operations.

The UH-60 can carry a crew of three and up to 14 passengers and six litters or internal or external cargo.


Integrity, Honor, and Respect
Some of the best things cannot be bought, they must be earned

©2023 USAF Rotorheads   All Rights Reserved   |   Financial Statement