MCAS Beaufort Lone Sea Knight
A CH/HH-46 Sea Knight helicopter on display outside the MCAS Beaufort Headquarters building in South Carolina is dedicated to Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Kevin Frank.
US Coast Guard, September 17, 2015 - BEAUFORT, S.C. by Lance Cpl Samantha Torres - Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort is known for hosting the Marine Corps’ East Coast jet squadrons.
However, once inside the gates of the air station, one cannot help but notice a CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter on display outside the MCAS Headquarters building. If you look closer at the helicopter, you will notice that it is dedicated to Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Kevin Frank.
Frank served aboard Fightertown as a corpsman attached to the Search and Rescue unit which flew the CH-46. The unit’s mission was to provide rapid search and rescue operations, medical evacuations, downed pilot recoveries, aerial photography, VIP transport and missing person searches among other services.
On March 9, 2002, Frank was aboard a CH-46 with Marines conducting a rescue mission to save victims of a boating accident. During the flight, a malfunction with the aircraft caused the pilot to lose control and crash into the water. All members of the crew survived the crash except Frank.
After searching the surface and nearby areas of the wreck, a diving team searched the underwater wreckage of the helicopter, finding Frank still inside.
Frank served in the Navy for 21 years, with 16 of those years working alongside Marines as a search and rescue corpsman.
The SAR unit retired in 2005 and the static display of the CH-46 helicopter inside the air station was once active with the SAR team. It is marked and painted in remembrance of Frank.
In 2013, Marines with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 31 repainted the helicopter, and included the Naval and Coast Guard Air Crew badge and Fleet Marine Force device above Frank’s name.
Boeing-Vertol CH-46A 152530 ( US Marine Corps )