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167th Airlift Wing remembers 6 airmen killed in 1992 Morgan County plane crash

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Friday marks 30 years since a C-130 crashed in Morgan County, killing all six airmen on board.

The tree and bench are 2 new memorials added this year. (Photo courtesy 167th Airlift Wing)

Their memory is kept alive each year at the 167th Airlift Wing in Martinsburg, according to Acting Airlift Wing Commander Col. Christopher Sigler, who says the late Wing Commander Brigadier General Virgil Wayne “Speedy” Lloyd charged the young airmen with always remembering those lost in the Decoy 81 crash.

“There are only a handful of us (4) left in the wing now that were in the unit back in 1992 when this occurred.  We want to honor General Lloyd’s request and really pass this on to our newer airmen,” Sigler told the Panhandle News Network.

Lost in the Decoy 8-1 crash in Morgan County were Lt. Col. John “Al” Steinberger, Capt. Dallas Adams, Master Sgt. George Griffith, Tech. Sgt. John Funkhouser, Staff Sgt. Tim Hinchman, and Staff Sgt. Fred Jones.

This year’s memorial will be special, according to Colonel Sigler.

The crash took place 30 years ago Friday. (Photo courtesy 167th Airlift Wing)

“Since this is the 30th anniversary, we are inviting the family members who were impacted the most by this event. We’re also inviting several retired  Wing members who served with the crew of Decoy 8-1,” he said.

For years, there’s been a  bronze plaque “in front of the building our flyers enter every day,” according to Sigler, but this year, they’ve added a granite memorial bench and a maple tree.

“We think the maple tree is appropriate because when the leaves change each year, it’s going to help us to remember Decoy 8-1.”

There will also be a memorial bench.

“The inscription on that bench will say ‘We Remember,'” Sigler said.