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Our fallen Airmen of Raider 21

Raider 21 8th AF Museum Memorial

The 8th Air Force Museum created a memorial to remember the crew members of Raider 21 on July 24, 2008. The memorial consists of framed photographs of each of the crew members, six pairs of flight boots and six flight helmets as well as other flyer signifiers from the bomb wing. The Raider 21 memorial is open to the public during the museum's normal business hours and will remain at the museum for 30 days. (USAF photo by Staff Sgt. Trina R. Jeanjacques)(Released)

tabCommunity Reaches Out  
"My husband, Stephen, and I went through ROTC with Josh at Pennsylvania State University. Stephen and Josh were actually in the same class and for a short time simultaneously stationed at Barksdale. We both want to express how very sorry we are for your loss. When we think back to the days of ROTC all we can do is smile and remember all the good memories we had.
We will keep you all in our thoughts and prayers. We are both extremely honored to have served with Josh." 

-- Meghan and Stephen Bailey 

"I had the pleasure to meet Mike last year when he took the woodcraft class that I had instructed. I remember he mentioned he had some wood crafting skills, and wanted to get more familiar with the equipment in our shop and pickup some additional furniture building techniques.
Before the class started, he requested if he could build the class project (a small bookshelf) out of oak instead of pine...not a problem. Mike breezed through the course and his craftsmanship in building this project was flawless. I've known him to be a very professional and knowledgeable. It is a pleasure to have known him." 

-- Don
tabRemembrance - Our fallen Airmen of Raider 21  

Send your message of hope and encouragement to
Please share your stories about Raider 21 and messages of hope and encouragement for the families of the crew by clicking above.

Click on the photos below for full Bio

Maj. Christopher M. Cooper BioMaj. Christopher M. Cooper
Major Cooper was born in Austin, Texas. He attended the University of Texas where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 1997. He entered the Air Force in 1997 and was commissioned through the Reserve Officer Training Corps.  

Maj. Brent D. Williams BioMaj. Brent D. Williams
Major Williams spent his childhood in Oklahoma. He attended the University of Oklahoma earning a Bachelor Degree in Information System Management while enrolled in the ROTC program. He graduated and earned his Air Force commission in 1994. Major Williams also held a Master of Science in Military Operations from American Military University and a Master of Science from Air University.

Capt. Michael K. Dodson BioCapt. Michael K. Dodson
Captain Dodson was a native of San Antonio, Texas. He attended Embry Riddle Aviation University where he earned a Bachelor's degree in Aviation Science while enrolled in the Reserve Officer Training Program. In 1999 he graduated from ERAU and earned his commission as an Air Force Officer. Captain Dodson was recently working on his Master's in Business Administration from American Military University as well. 

1st Lt. Robert D. Gerren Bio

1st Lt. Robert D. Gerren 
Lieutenant Gerren graduated Summa Cum Laude from Saginaw Valley State University with a 4.0 grade point average. He entered active duty service on May 20, 2004 upon graduation from officer training school. Whilst at OTS he earned a small arms marksmanship ribbon.

1st Lt. Joshua D. Shepherd Bio1st Lt. Joshua D. Shepherd 
Lieutenant Shepherd spent his childhood in Pennsylvania. He attended Penn State University earning a Bachelor Degree in journalism with a minor in history and military studies while enrolled in the Reserve Officer Training Corps. He graduated and earned his Air Force commission in 2005.

Col. George T. MartinCol. George T. Martin

Airmen of Raider 21 -- 36th Medical Group, Andersen AFB, Guam


tabAircraft 60-053, call sign Raider 21  
B-52H proudly displays the American flag
B-52H proudly displays the American flag
BARKSDALE AFB, LA -- B-52H bomber tail number 60-053 from the 2d Bomb Wing, Barksdale Air Force Base, La. proudly displays the American flag as it taxii's out on a local training mission. Aircraft 60-053, call sign Raider 21, went down off the coast of Guam July 21, 2008. All six crew members were lost. (USAF Photo by Technical Sergeant Robert J. Horstman) (Released) Download Full Image l More Images
tabCandlelight vigil  
Candlelight vigil held for crew of Raider 21
BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- More than 40 people turned out at dusk Thursday, July 25th, for a candlelight vigil held in honor of the six Airmen of Raider 21. The enlisted spouses group, headed by Kim Shomo and Rachel Penwell organized the event at the North Gate in front of a collection of flowers, ribbons and cards placed there by the public. Download Full Image | E-mail a friend
tabBroadcast Reports for Raider 21 
Video Air Force officials have declared the crew members of Raider 21 deceased. Search and rescue teams have shifted their focus from rescue operations to aircrew recovery. "Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the families of the Raider 21 crew," said Col. Robert Wheeler, 2d Bomb Wing commander. "These men made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country." Download Video 

B-52 crashes near Andersen AFB, Guam B-52H accident
tabCommunity Reaches Out 
"Our hearts go out to those left behind. I felt your anxiety and your pain during this horrible time. Please know there are B-52 families around the country that held their breath with you in hopes of finding your loved ones. I am a BUFF wife with children, and I know how it feels to be proud, brave and scared all at once. I wish I could comfort every one of you but just simply know that there aren't any words that can describe what we all felt for you these past few days and I hope that you can continue to be proud wives, mothers, brothers and sisters. You will be in our prayers."
-- The Rodriguez Family

"As soon as I heard the news report, I immediately started to pray for the flight crew and their families. After more info was revealed, I immediately started to pray for the military community. Allow me to say, I am so terribly sorry for your loss. My prayer is that God will comfort you and see you through this....and he will.
I don't know any of you, nor you me, but the scripture tells us to bear each other burdens. My heart is just as heavy as yours but know this, God said in his word that "he would never leave us nor forsake us." Please know that you will are in my prayers and others' as well. Remember those six airmen will forever be in your hearts, so carry on with that in mind."
-- Veronica Lee

"As a former 2nd Bomb Wing member, I remember how close our bomber community was. We all grieved when we lost some of our own; just as we do now that we lost the crew of Raider 21. Our thoughts and prayers go out to our fellow crewmembers and their families."
-- Maj. Jorge E. Cabezas (Ret)

"I would like to express my sincere condolences to the family, friends and the members of the 20th Bomb Squadron. This is so tragic and of course unexpected, but we all know that any day could be our last. It is wonderful to know that these fine airmen were doing what they do best and I'm sure loved every minute of it.
I pray that God will give the family, friends and the 20 BS strength to get through this difficult time."
-- Tech. Sgt. Samantha Bergeron

"We send our deepest condolences to each and every one of you during this grave and sorrowful time. The loss of these six men is a tremendous hit to the B-52 community. While it may be a small community, it is important to remember it is a strong community of many family and friends. Lean on those you know and be a shoulder for those you do not. May you find some peace and strength in those supporting you through thoughts and prayers today and always.
Thank you for sharing your sons, husbands, fathers and brothers with us. Their service to the United States of America does not go unnoticed. Their valiant and continued dedication to their family, community and country is a remarkable statement to their character."
-- Todd and Keri Kavouras 

"We will always remember the sacrifice your loved ones have made for the freedom of our nation. God's greatest blessings to each of you in this time of sadness. Remember, the body is only a vehicle for the soul, and as long as we remember them, surely they will always be with you and us all.
-- Henry F. Sims 

"I was stationed at Barksdale for six and a half years and worked as a jet engine mechanic in the 2d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. I was privileged to deploy to Andersen AFB and Diego with both the 20th and 96th Bomb Squadrons. I still consider Shreveport-Bossier my home and the mighty BUFF my first love. My heart goes out to the family members of Raider 21. I can't even begin to imagine the grief you all are feeling. My thoughts and prayers are also with all my fellow aircraft maintainers at Barksdale. We are a tight-knit group and feel the loss as a personal one as well. Guam is a deployment that no one really ever worries about whether or not their loved ones might not return. This accident is a shock and a tremendous loss to our nation."
-- Staff Sgt. Jenny Coleman 

"My thoughts and payers go out to the families of the crew of Raider 21. It was an honor to have worked next to you and to be able to call you my friends. I will always consider you heroes and nothing less for all you have done. You are gone but never forgotten. God Bless!" 
-- Staff Sgt. Monty Ward 

"Our prayers are with all of the families and friends of those affected by this incident. We are a B-52 family at Minot AFB and are devastated for all involved. Words can't describe how sad we are for everyone hurt by this. Just know you have people praying for you. God will bless the families and touch their hearts with love and grace. God be with everyone during this extremely difficult time." 
-- The Barta Family 

"I just wanted to say that my wife and I send our thoughts and prayers to the families of this crew. Although I recently left the 2d Operations Group, I spent the last four years of my life dedicating my efforts to training them the best that I knew how. I knew a few of them on a personal level and it deeply saddens me to know that they were unable to return home to us from this incident. They will forever be remembered by me as I knew them during the time I had the opportunity to train them. May they rest in peace and god be with their families for the years to come."
-- Staff Sgt. Mike Reed

"Bob grew up down the road from my parents and I knew him as a very conscientious young man who was a great kid when he lived in Gladwin, MI. He always excelled at whatever he did. My thoughts and prayers are with his mother, dad and sister." 
-- Keith Matthews 

"I worked with 4 of the 6 members of Raider 21. I knew Major Cooper and worked for him the most out of all of them. I was deployed to Guam with him and also went temporary duty with him to Darwin, Australia and Minot, North Dakota. Every day I worked with Major Cooper he emulated the highest degree of professionalism. Major Cooper was an outstanding Airman and an even better officer. I enjoyed every day at work when he would come out to my jet after a long days work and get ready to fly. He always took the time to ask how everyone was and cared about each individual he worked with. He always made me take tremendous pride in doing my job. Major Cooper was an outstanding person and an even more amazing Airman. The Air force has suffered a tremendous loss of these fine professionals and they will be missed by all. My condolences go out to the families, friends and all the men and women that worked with these fine individuals. 
-- Staff Sgt. Zachery Bachmann 

"Major Williams and my family met when our daughters became friends and nearly inseparable. He was an outstanding father who loved his children very much. We had joked about how our little girls weren't so little anymore and how we'd have to keep the boys away. Just before I left to go to temporary duty, we had talked about how we'd both be back by the beginning of our sons' football season and be able to watch the Texas vs. OU game. I'm a Texas fan so we'd give each other a hard time when the others team lost. He is a great man, patriot and Hero. A true role model. My son said it best when we talked about what happened, 'I'm really going to miss Mr. Brent.' We all are." 
-- Jerry, Melissa, Shelby and Jay Couch 

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