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Memorial today for victims of midair collision of military aircraft

November 6, 2009 |  8:51 am

A memorial will be held in Sacramento at 11 a.m. today for those killed in a midair collision of two military aircraft last week off San Clemente Island. The ceremony will be broadcast live via Internet stream.

The collision between a Coast Guard C-130 Hercules transport plane and a Marine Corps AH-1 Super Cobra helicopter occurred about 7:10 p.m. last Thursday, 20 miles east of San Clemente Island. A nearby pilot reported a fireball in the sky.

The Coast Guard plane from Sacramento, with seven crew members, was searching for a 12-foot skiff reported adrift near the island, which is owned by the Navy and used for training. The Super Cobra, with two pilots, was among four Marine helicopters from the Miramar Marine Corps Air Station-based 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing on a night training mission.

An extensive search off the coast of the island found debris but no survivors.

-- Shelby Grad