SSgt Casey J. Crate
May 30, 2005
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Staff Sergeant Crate was born in Spanaway, Washington and joined the Air Force in 1998, serving as an avionics technician for the 16th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Florida. When his initial enlistment ended, Sergeant Crate re-enlisted for the specific purpose of joining Combat Control.
Upon his completion of combat control training and the Advanced Skills Training course, he was assigned to the 23 STS where he did combat tours in both Afghanistan and Iraq.On May 30, 2005, Captain Fresques, Captain Argel, and Staff Sergeant Crate, all from the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron (23 STS), were accompanying Major William B. Downs of the 6th Special Operations Squadron, and Captain Ali Husam Abass, Iraqi Air Force, aboard a Comp Air 7SL assigned to the 3rd Iraqi Squadron at Kirkuk Regional Air Base. While performing a low pass, a landing, or perhaps an aborted landing, the aircraft impacted the ground near Jalulah, Iraq, killing all on board. Immediately, a Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) mission was launched, but there was little left of the aircraft.
Staff Sergeant Crate’s awards included the Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device, the Air Force Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, and the Global War on Terror Service Medal.