Ronald L. Martinez, TSgt. USAF (Fallen)
May 07, 1951 – April 07, 1984

CH-3E #65-12794
(Call sign “Jolly Green 18”)
April 07, 1984
Patrick AFB, FL.

Airmen gather 30 years later to pay respect to the fallen of Jolly 18

Posted 4/17/2014 Updated 4/17/2014
By; 920th Rescue Wing Public Affairs
920th Rescue Wing Public Affairs

4/17/2014 – PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. — Airmen from the 920th Rescue Wing along with friends and family gathered for the 30th anniversary of Jolly 18 in a memorial ceremony to remember the five fallen Airmen. The ceremony held at the Memorial Flag Plaza here, honored the fallen, Captains Jan F. Fuchs and David K. Shaffner (of the Eastern Space & Missile Ctr.), Tech. Sgt. Ronald L. Martinez (FE), Staff Sgt Mark R. Judy (PJ) and Airman 1st Class James A. Ferreira (PJ).

On April 7, 1984 while flying surface surveillance for a scheduled launch of a Trident 1 missile from the USS Georgia a CH-3 helicopter crashed 60 miles off the coast of Patrick AFB. When rescuers arrived the helicopter was floating upside down, then it sunk in 2,400 feet of water. Three survivors had been rescued. They were Capt. William Fizgerald (P), Lt. James O’Hearn (CP) and Lt. Scott Schafer (CP), all of Det. 15, 39th ARRWg.

“I stand here now not to eulogize five aircraft crash victims but to celebrate five war heroes who gave their lives doing the dead, ‘These things we do,'” said Senior Master Sgt. Craig Kennedy, Judy’s best friend.

When rescue crews arrived on site, some 60 miles of the coast, the helo was found floating upside down. Three survivors were recovered before the aircraft sank to its final resting place 2,400 feet below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean. They were: Capt. William Fizgerald and Lt.’s James O’Hearn and Scott Schafer.

“No words can really express the feeling of loss that we all share as a rescue family,” Col. Jeffrey Macrander, 920th RQW commander said. “We often search for meaning in death, but I propose that that we look at all the lives these sons, brothers, husband, coworkers and community members touched, this is clearly evident by all that attended today.”

Rescue crews continued to search for five days for the missing Airmen, logging nearly 200 flying hours and covering between 25-30,000 square miles seeking any signs of life.

“We never did get the bodies,” said Kennedy, rescue team member, 920th RQW, who served as a Pararescueman with Det. 15.

Two years later the helicopter was found when searching for Space Shuttle Challenger after an accident caused it to break apart shortly after liftoff January 28, 1986, which Kennedy witnessed while serving as rescue support for the astronauts that day.

These Airmen lived and died by the pararescue motto that Wing Airmen continue to live, train and deploy by today, “these things we do that others may live.”

The primary mission of the 920th RQW is a combat-search-and-rescue. The unit is also tasked as the primary rescue force for NASA astronauts during lift off and local civilian search and rescue, as well as humanitarian relief.

For more information about the 920th RQW log on to the wing’s Web site: www.920rqw.afrc.af.mil or follow them on Facebook

Teammate, best friend remembers fallen Airmen

Posted 4/7/2013 Updated 4/7/2013
By; Maj. Cathleen Snow
920th Rescue Wing Public Affairs

4/7/2013 – PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. — Air Force Reserve search and rescue professionals from the 920th Rescue Wing here train in and around Patrick Air Force Base’s lush maritime surroundings regularly to be the best and uphold their motto, these things we do, that others may live .

Two drop zones which come into regular use by them for jump training, Judy and Ferreria DZ, are named after fallen pararescuemen whose passing took place 29 years ago.

A CH-3 helicopter crash off the coast of Patrick AFB took their lives along with three other Airmen. Lost were: Capt.s Jan F. Fuchs and David Schaeffner, both with the Eastern Space and Missile Center, and Tech. Sgt. Ronald Martinez, Staff Sgt. Mark R. Judy and Airman 1st Class James Ferreria, all assigned to Detachment 15, 39th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Wing, here.

According to the Patrick Air Force base newspaper, The Missileer dated April 20, 1984, the helicopter crashed shortly after 2 a.m., Saturday, April 7, while flying surface surveillance for the scheduled launch of a Trident 1 missile from the USS Georgia.

“I was on the team,” said Senior Master Sgt. Craig Kennedy, manpower technician, 920th RQW, who served as a Pararescuemen with Det. 15 long ago as part of operation that night. He and several other PJ’s launched aboard a boat to serve as a backup medical team should something go awry with the mission.

Sergeants Judy and Kennedy were best friends.

“When we returned from our mission, the hangar was lit up like broad daylight,” said Sergeant Kennedy who said he was unaware of the crash until they saw the increased activity and flurry of people including the director of operations who explained the situation.

He and his team were sent to the crash site help.

“The helo was floating upside down,” said Sergeant Kennedy when they arrived to the crash site, 60 miles off the coast. “Then it sunk in 2,400 feet of (ocean) water.”

Three survivors had been recovered. They were: Capt. William Fizgerald and Lt.s James O’Hearn and Scott Schafer, all with Det. 15.

For five days, rescue crews continued to search for the five missing Airmen logging nearly 200 flying hours and covering between 25-30,000 square miles seeking any signs of life.

“We never did get the bodies,” said Sergeant Kennedy, but later the helicopter was found when looking for Space Shuttle Challenger after an accident caused it to break apart shortly after liftoff January 28, 1986, which Sergeant Kennedy witnessed while serving as rescue support for the astronauts that day.

The search was ended after five days on April 11 following extensive consultations between Air Force and Coast Guard Officials.

These Airmen lived by the pararescue motto that wing Airmen continue to live, train and deploy by today, these things we do that others may live.

The primary mission of the 920th RQW is a combat-search-and-rescue. The unit is also tasked as the primary rescue force for NASA astronauts during lift off and local civilian search and rescue, as well as humanitarian relief.

For more information about the 920th RQW log on to the wing’s Web site: www.920rqw.afrc.af.mil or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.

Two drop zones which come into regular use by 920th Rescue Wing Airmen here, Judy and Ferreria DZ, are named after fallen Pararescuemen whose passing took place 29 years ago today. A CH-3 helicopter crash off the coast of Patrick AFB took their lives along with three other Airmen. Lost were: Capt.’s. Jan F. Fuchs and David Schaeffner, both with the Eastern Space and Missile Center, and Tech. Sgt. Ronald Martinez, Staff Sgt. Mark R. Judy and Airman 1st Class James Ferreria, all assigned to Detachment 15, 39th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Wing, at the time.

~Source~
http://www.920rqw.afrc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id-123250750

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