U.S., Italy to mark crash anniversary
November 7, 2008
Americans and Italians will gather Saturday to remember six U.S. servicemembers killed a year ago when the military helicopter they were traveling in crashed on the banks of the Piave River.
The UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter was based at Aviano Air Base and served the Army’s Company G, 52nd Aviation Regiment.
Two soldiers who were part of the crew died in the crash and two more were injured.
Four airmen based at Aviano died and three more were injured. Four of the airmen were onboard to conduct a re-enlistment and the other three were guests of the crew, who were using the opportunity as a training mission, officials said.
An investigation into the incident conducted by V Corps found that the crew somehow lost control of the helicopter, causing it to crash.
It ruled out pilot error or environmental factors and suggested that the cause could have been a faulty part.
Family members who have traveled from the States and elsewhere will attend a private service earlier Saturday near the scene of the crash.
A delegation from the base, along with Italian dignitaries, will then gather in the nearby village of Santa Lucia di Piave for a ceremony at 12:17 p.m., the time of the crash.
The ceremony will also include tributes to the many Italians who have died along the Piave, which served as a battleground in World War I and other conflicts.
The Italian community is unveiling a memorial during the ceremony and Americans have raised funds the last few weeks through the base chapel to contribute.