Communities to mark second anniversary of Yanky 72 crash

By BY MARK H. STOWERS FOR THE E-T,

Sunflower and Leflore Counties will be paying homage and tribute to the servicemen lost in the Yanky72 tragedy of July 2017.

There will be a public ceremony at the memorial on July 13 at 6 p.m. at the Yanky72 monument on Highway 82 in Itta Bena.

Cliff Addison, Chairman of the Yanky72 Committee, noted several high-profile speakers will be at the event.

“Stacey Pickering, Director of the Mississippi Veterans Affairs Board will be our emcee. Congressman/General Trent Kelly will be one of our keynote speakers and we’ll also have Lt. Colonel Mike Quirck who helped with last year’s event. He was one of the first ones on site after the crash,” Addison said.

He noted most of the families will be represented and there will be private activities for them before and after the event.

Moorhead resident Brenda Grubb has been helping with logistics and helping honor the families for the past two years. She has documented 12 monuments to the fallen soldiers across Leflore and Sunflower Counties. The Yellow Dog Depot Museum has the “most comprehensive display in the Delta of newspaper, magazine articles, pictures, letters, copies of legal documents and other items of the tragedy and information on the 16 heroes,” she said.

The memorial on Highway 82 across from Mississippi Valley State University honors the 15 Marines and one Sailor who perished in the tragedy. They include Major Caine M. Goyette, Capt. Sean E. Elliott, Gunnery Sgt. Mark A. Hopkins, Gunnery Sgt. Brendan Johnson, Staff Sgt. Joshua M. Snowden, Sgt. Julian M. Kevianne, Sgt. Owen J. Lennon, Corporal Daniel I. Baldassare, Corporal Collin J Schaaff, Staff Sgt. Robert H. Cox, Staff Sgt. William J. Kundrat, Sgt. Chad E. Jenson, Sgt. Talon R. Leach, Sgt. Joseph J. Murray, Sgt. Dietrich A. Schmieman and Petty Officer 2nd Class Ryan M. Lohrey.

Funds to maintain the memorial are still being collected and for more information, email Addison at CliftonAddison7@gmail.com or call (601) 606-4336.

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