Michael J Cotterill

Airman First Class
United States Air Force
01 November 1945 - 25 April 1969
Rochester, New York
Panel 26W Line 044

7TH AF EC-121 554TH RS
USAF Aircrew

National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Michael J Cotterill

24 Apr 2005

Mike was the big brother I never got to know, and on or around every April 25th, I wonder what kind of person he would be now. Would we get along better as adults than we did as kids? :-) I think so.

On "Batcat 21" he was the _NG who, along with the rest of the crew, never made it home. I miss him.

Brian Cotterill

The photo above was taken outside Edwards AFB just before he shipped out, maybe in 1968. It suits his personality well.

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The venerable C-121 Super Constellation was used in a variety of transport and air surveillance missions during the Vietnam war. One version, the EC-121R "Bat Cat" modification, was equipped to monitor the electronic sensors emplaced along the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos and within North and South Vietnam. Thirty EC-121K and EC-121P aircraft were modified to the EC-121R configuration. The 553rd Reconnaissance Wing was activated at Otis AFB, Massachusetts, in February 1967 and deployed with 27 aircraft to Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base in October 1967.

On 25 April 1969, an EC-121R (tail number 67-21493) of the 554th Recon Sqdn launched on an operational mission. The weather was poor, with thunderstorms around the field. Shortly after getting airborne the EC-121R encountered a severe wind sheer which forced the heavily-laden aircraft into the ground about 4 miles southwest of the airfield, where it exploded and burned. Although rescue crews arrived at the crash site within minutes, none of the 18 aircrewmen aboard survived the crash. Those killed were

  • TSgt James H. Belflower, Atlanta, GA
  • TSgt Albert N. Booker, Waco, TX
  • Major Thomas M. Brandom, Liberty, MO
  • A1C Michael J. Cotterill, Rochester, NY
  • SSgt Jerald C. Davis, Chicago, IL
  • A1C Ronald C. Deforrest, Salem, ME
  • TSgt Warren C. Delaney, Coolidge, GA
  • SSgt Paul Faulk, New York, NY
  • TSgt Kenneth W. Fowler, Petersburg, IN
  • LtCol Emerson E. Heller, Spring City, PA
  • Capt George R. Kidd, Punta Gorda, FL
  • Major Paul R. Lunsford, Cleveland, OH
  • 1stLt John A. Marsh, Altoona, PA
  • LtCol William C. McCormick, Williamsport, PA
  • Sgt Mitchel Messing, Oceanside, CA
  • SSgt James D. Moore, Marlin, TX
  • Sgt Mark M. Steeley, St Paul Park, MN
  • Sgt William D. Stepp, Jackson, MO

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his younger brother,
Brian Cotterill
24 Apr 2005

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 04/25/2005