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Casualty of the War on Drugs

DAYTON, Ohio -- This plaque commemorates the C-130 crew that was attacked while gathering intelligence information on drug traffickers in April 1992. Six of the fourteen crewmembers were injured, and MSgt. Joseph C. Beard Jr. was killed. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- This plaque commemorates the C-130 crew that was attacked while gathering intelligence information on drug traffickers in April 1992. Six of the fourteen crewmembers were injured, and MSgt. Joseph C. Beard Jr. was killed. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Counterdrug efforts in the 1990s included gathering intelligence information on drug traffickers. On April 24, 1992, a C-130H flown by the 310th Airlift Squadron at Howard Air Force Base, Panama, was on such a mission when it was intercepted 60 miles off the coast of Peru by two Peruvian Air Force Sukhoi Su-22 Fitter fighters. Despite being clearly marked as an unarmed U.S. Air Force transport aircraft and being in international airspace, the C-130 was attacked by the two Su-22s with cannon fire.

Six of the fourteen crewmembers were injured, and Master Sgt. Joseph C. Beard Jr. died when he was blown from a hole in the rapidly decompressing aircraft. For his efforts, Master Sgt. Beard received the Distinguished Flying Cross. The C-130 crew received the 1992 Mackay Trophy for extraordinary resourcefulness and unusual presence of mind during an unprovoked attack in international airspace. This plaque commemorates this episode in the war on drugs.

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In accordance with the updated guidance released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Defense (DoD) and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force will require all visitors to wear face masks indoors effective July 30, 2021 until further notice.

Visitors ages three and up will be required to wear masks while indoors at the museum. This policy applies to all visitors, staff and volunteers regardless of vaccination status. Visitors may wear their own masks or a free paper mask will be provided. Cloth masks will also be available for purchase in the Museum Store.
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