Setaro, Richard Michael Jr.

Richard “Richie” Michael Setaro Jr., Sr. Amn., USAF (Fallen)
August 09, 1971 – October 06, 1994

SETARO – Memorial Services will be held Tuesday, October 25, 1994, at 5:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Assumption Church, for Senior Airman Richard M. Setaro Jr. of Worchester, Massachusetts, who died October 6, 1994 from injuries suffered in an Air Force Helicopter Training exercise in Korea, with Father Louis Jaramillo, officiating.

He is survived by his wife of two years, Celeste (Mirabal) Setaro of Albuquerque, the daughter of Robert and Theresa Mirabal; his parents, Richard M. Setaro Sr. and Margaret B. Setaro of Worchester; two brothers, Robert P. and Ryan C. Setaro, both of Worchester; uncles and aunts.

He was born in Worchester and lived there most of his life.

The 23 year old Setaro and four crewmates were on a routine night training exercise, when their Air Force HH-60G helicopter slammed into high voltage power lines and crashed into a river. The other Airmen were Air Force Captains, Edward J. Karison and William M. Alston, Senior Airman, Frank H. Zurawski and Airman 1st Class, Jason C. Kutscher. The men were part of the 33rd Rescue Squadron operating from Kadena Air Base in Japan and had been in Korea about a week for a month long training session. Setaro, the oldest of three sons, is remembered by friends and family as a motivated, dedicate young man, a hero who lived the motto of the pararescue team “That Others May Live”.

At the Funeral Services in his hometown in Worchester last week, the Eulogy by Rev. William Sanders described Setaro as a “giver in a world filled with takers”, who left this world a “wonderful legacy of heroism, courage and generosity.”

Setaro graduated from Worchester Vocational Technical School in 1989. He enlisted in the Air Force in 1990, and completed his training in 1991 and was a member of the Air Force 33rd Rescue Squadron and its elite Para-Rescue Unit. He received the Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster. He completed parachute school in Fort Benning, GA, and specialized in high-altitude parachute training at Fort Bragg, N.C. He also graduated from the Para-Rescue School in New Mexico and Air Force Survival Training School at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. He was certified in ocean and rough terrain parachuting, and completed training as an Emergency Medical Technician. Airman Setaro was due to be reassigned to the 24th Special Tactic Squadron at Pope Air Force Base, N.C. Mr. Setaro was a member of the Parachute Association of America.

He was a former member of St. Stephen’s Church in Worcester.

Cremation services were held October 17, 1994 in Worcester, Massachusetts. It was Setaro’s wish that his body be cremated. Following the Memorial Ceremony in Worcester, his remains were brought to New Mexico.

Memorial contributions may be made to the U.S. Air Force, Para-Rescue Association, 580SS-DOJ, 4300 Hangar Road, Kirtland Air Force Base, NM. 87117


HH-60G #91-26404
Joch Weon, Korea
06 October 1994

An USAF HH-60G “Pave Hawk” #91-26404, TDY to Korea from the 33rd RQS at Kadena AB with the call sign “Jolly 04” crashed at Joch Weon, Korea. All of the aircrew members, Capt. Edward Karlson (P), Capt. William Alston (CP), Sr. Amn. Frank Zurawski (FE), Sr. Amn. Richard Setaro (PJ) and Sr. Amn. Jason Kutscher (PJ) were killed in the crash.
The “Jolly 04” crew were TDY to Korea to provide search and rescue alert coverage for USAF fighter aircraft assigned to bases in the Republic of Korea. The flight profile on the night of the accident was a training night vision goggle (NVG) flight. “Jolly 04” flew into high tension wires and subsequently crashed. It is believed that all of the crew members died on impact.


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