Smith, David Cazzie, SSgt

Fallen
 
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Last Rank
Staff Sergeant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
1A1X1-Flight Engineer
Last AFSC Group
Air Crew Operations
Primary Unit
2009-2010, 66th Rescue Squadron
Service Years
2001 - 2010
Staff Sergeant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
Alabama
Alabama
Year of Birth
1984
 
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Casualty Info
Home Town
Eight Mile, Alabama
Last Address
Nellis AFB, Nevada-home base
Afghanistan-deployed

Casualty Date
Jun 09, 2010
 
Cause
Hostile, Died
Reason
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Location
Afghanistan
Conflict
Not Specified
Location of Interment
Mobile Memorial Gardens Cemetery - Tillmans Corner, Alabama
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

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GWOT Fallen
  2014, GWOT Fallen [Verified]

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Aircrew Enlisted (Senior)



 
 Unit Assignments
66th Rescue Squadron
  2009-2010, 66th Rescue Squadron
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  2001-2010 Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)
  2004-2005 Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)/Iraqi Governance (2004-05)
 My Aircraft/Missiles
HH-60 Pave Hawk  
  2009-2010, HH-60 Pave Hawk
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
DOD Identifies Air Force Casualties

                  The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of four airmen who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

                  They died June 9, near Forward Operating Base Jackson, Afghanistan, in a helicopter crash. Killed were:

                  Staff Sgt. Michael P. Flores, 31, of San Antonio, Texas, assigned to the 48th Rescue Squadron, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.

                  1st Lt. Joel C. Gentz, 25, of Grass Lake, Mich., assigned to the 58th Rescue Squadron, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.

                  Staff Sgt. David C. Smith, 26, of Eight Mile, Ala., assigned to the 66th Rescue Squadron, Nellis Air Force Base.

                 Senior Airman Benjamin D. White, 24, of Erwin, Tenn., assigned to the 48th Rescue Squadron, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.

                  For more information on Flores and White, media may contact the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base public affairs office at 520-228-3407.

                  For more information on Gentz and Smith, media may contact the Nellis Air Force Base public affairs office at 702-652-2750.

   
Comments/Citation

Air Force Staff Sgt. David C. Smith

Died June 09, 2010 serving during Operation Enduring Freedom

26, of Eight Mile, Ala.; assigned to the 66th Rescue Squadron, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.; died June 9, near FOB Jackson, Afghanistan, in a HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter crash. Also killed were Air Force Staff Sgt. Michael P. Flores, Air Force 1st Lt. Joel C. Gentz and Air Force Senior Airman Benjamin D. White.

Schwartz mourns airmen killed in medevac crash

By Scott Fontaine

Staff writer

The Pentagon has named the four rescue airmen who were killed June 9 when insurgents shot down their HH-60G Pave Hawk in southern Afghanistan.

Three airmen also were injured in the Pave Hawk incident, which occurred on the deadliest day for Air Force personnel at war in more than five years.

The four killed are:

* 1st Lt. Joel C. Gentz, 25, of Grass Lake, Mich.

* Staff Sgt. David C. Smith, 26, of Eight Mile, Ala.

* Tech. Sgt. Michael P. Flores, 31, of San Antonio.

* Senior Airman Benjamin D. White, 24, of Erwin, Tenn.

Flores and White were assigned to the 48th Rescue Squadron at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. Gentz was assigned to the 58th Rescue Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Smith was assigned to the 66th Rescue Squadron at Nellis.

The wounded airmen are members of the 66th Rescue Squadron. They are being treated at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany.

The helicopter crashed as the airmen, assigned to 563rd Rescue Group, were performing a medical-evacuation mission in turbulent Helmand province.

“Our Air Force was deeply saddened by the loss of four of our own,” Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz said in a statement. “Faithful to the rescue motto ‘That others may live,’ these airmen were courageously and selflessly flying in support of their joint and coalition teammates. We grieve for our warriors and our thoughts and prayers are with their families, as well as with the airmen still recovering.”

Col. Gary Henderson, the 23rd Wing commander said in a statement: “Our hearts go out to the families of these brave Americans, and we express our deepest condolences to them. All seven airmen involved in this incident embody the rescue motto, ‘These things we do, that others may live,’ and were on a life-saving mission.

“These airmen and their other rescue teammates are highly trained to perform life-saving missions in various situations. Protecting our nation’s sons and daughters is a sacred trust and we take that responsibility seriously.”

The last time four or more airmen died in a single day was May 30, 2005, when a prop plane crashed in Diyala province, Iraq. A fifth passenger, Iraqi Air Force Capt. Ali Abass, also died in that crash.

It was the bloodiest day in Afghanistan for the Air Force since Nov. 23, 2003, when four airmen were killed in a helicopter crash in Parwan province, according to icasualties.org, a website that tracks coalition deaths overseas.

The helicopter was providing support to British troops at the time of the attack, according to The New York Times. The newspaper, quoting a Taliban spokesman, said insurgents shot down the helicopter over the Sangin district bazaar with a rocket-propelled grenade.

“It’s a big deal every time we lose someone,” Brig. Gen. Frderick B. Hodges, one of the top American commanders in southern Afghanistan, told The Washington Post. “But this is more of a jolt. The medevac crews are some of the bravest people in the world. Just by the nature of what they do, they’re always moving into danger.”

Flores, a 32-year-old pararescueman, had earned the Distinguished Flying Cross and deployed eight times during his 12 years in the service. White, a 24-year-old pararescueman, had served in the Air Force since July 2006 and was on his first deployment.

Gentz, 25, a combat rescue officer, studied aerospace engineering at Purdue University and enrolled in ROTC because he wanted to be a pilot and perform combat recue, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Smith, 26, was a flight engineer who had deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan during his nine-year career.

Medevac crash victims returned home

By Scott Fontaine

Staff writer

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. — The transfer team’s steps were meticulously synchronized. Their white gloves were spotless. The flag wrapped around each case was tight, each with an identical number of stars and stripes showing.

They said little — just a few orders, barely audible over the clanging rotors of the Boeing 747. The Air Force chief of staff held a sharp salute as they walked by. The service secretary held his hand over his heart.

Four of their colleagues were killed two days earlier, when insurgents shot down their HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter during a medical-evacuation mission in southern Afghanistan. And on June 11, the fallen returned to the U.S.; their remains were met here with full honors.

The Air Force transfer team first carried the flag-draped case containing the remains of Lt. Joel C. Gentz, a combat rescue officer who enrolled in ROTC because he wanted to be a pilot and fly rescue missions, from a hydraulic lift to a waiting cargo van.

Next came the body of Tech. Sgt. Michael P. Flores, a pararescueman who had previously been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and had served overseas eight times in 12 years.

And then Staff Sgt. David C. Smith, a flight engineer who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan during his nine-year Air Force career.

And, lastly, Senior Airman Benjamin D. White, a pararescueman on his first deployment.

Their helicopter crashed in Helmand province, leaving three other airmen injured and leading to the Air Force’s deadliest day at war in more than five years. The remains of Lance Cpl. Michael G. Plank, a Marine killed in Helmand province on June 9, also made the trip from Germany.

Fellow pararescuemen escorted the remains from Germany and snapped a salute as the cases were moved from the plane to a hydraulic lift. The lift was lowered, and the transfer teams solemnly walked each case to one of two waiting cargo vans. Family members stood near the tail of the jet and watched.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz and Secretary Michael Donley didn’t provide a statement or take questions from the handful of reporters here — standard procedure for the event, known to the Air Force as a dignified transfer. And a port mortuary spokeswoman wasn’t sure the last time such an event drew the service’s top uniformed and civilian officials.

But the Air Force hadn’t lost four or more airmen since May 30, 2005, when a prop plane crashed in Diyala province, Iraq. The incident killed four American airmen and an Iraqi officer.

The Pave Hawk carrying the pararescuemen crashed in the Sangin district of Helmand as it was providing support for British troops. A Taliban spokesman told the New York Times that insurgents shot it down with a rocket-propelled grenade.

Flores and White were assigned to the 48th Rescue Squadron at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. Gentz was assigned to the 58th Rescue Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Smith was assigned to the 66th Rescue Squadron at Nellis.

The wounded airmen are members of the 66th Rescue Squadron. They are being treated at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany.

   
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