By Senior Airman Stuart Bright
2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Lt Col. Jeffrey Vandenbushce, 11th Bomb Squadron commander, consoles a fellow Airman during the memorial service for Maj. Christopher Cooper, Maj. Brent Williams, Capt. Michael Dodson, 1st Lt. Robert Gerren and 1st Lt. Joshua Shepherd at Hoban Hall on July 25, 2008. A sixth officer stationed at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, was also part of the fallen crew referred to as Raidr 21. (USAF Photo by Staff Sgt. Trina R. Jeanjacques)
The Barksdale community will come together July 20, 2018, at the Global Power Museum to honor the Airmen of Raidr 21, a B-52 Stratofortress that crashed off the coast of Guam on July 21, 2008, leaving no survivors.
Ten years after the tragic incident, Team Barksdale continues to pay tribute to the lives of Maj. Christopher Cooper, Maj. Brent Williams, Capt. Michael Dodson, 1st Lt. Robert Gerren and 1st Lt. Joshua Shepherd. A sixth officer, Col. George Martin, stationed at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, was also part of the crew.
"Our nation suffered a heartbreaking loss this week," said Col. Robert Wheeler, 2nd Bomb Wing commander at the time of the crash. "These husbands, fathers, brothers and sons made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country."
The Barksdale members were deployed to Guam with the 20th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron as part of the Department of Defense’s Continuous Bomber Presence mission in the Pacific.
"Monday morning, July 21st, 2008, Raidr 21 was cleared for takeoff. There's no way they could have known it would be their last mission," Wheeler said. "They spent their last minutes doing what they loved, flying in defense of our nation--it was not in vain."