25 January 2010:
MILTON, Florida – According to the U.S. Coast Guard, they have suspended the search for missing U.S. Navy pilot Lieutenant Clinton Wermers.
They say the search for Lieutenant Wermers is now a recovery mission.
NAS Whiting Field says Lieuenant Clinton Wermers is presumed dead. He's been missing since his plane crashed into Lake Ponchartrain near New Orleans Saturday night.
Around 6:40 p.m. Saturday, Air Traffic Control contacted the Coast Guard saying a T-34C Turbomentor was no longer visible on radar. Wermers and a student pilot clung to the wreckage until it sank.
The Coast Guard rescued the student pilot around 9 p.m. He was taken to a nearby hospital and treated for his injuries and mild hypothermia. He has since been released.
The pilots were on a routine cross-country training mission when their plane went down. The cause of the crash is being investigated.
Coast Guard officials say the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office is continuing its search.
27 January 2010:
MILTON, Florida – Divers have recovered the body of the NAS Whiting Field pilot killed in a plane crash.
Lieutenant Clinton Wermers had been missing since his plane crashed into Lake Ponchartrain Saturday night. The Coast Guard found his student pilot alive a few hours later.
Volunteer divers from Gulf States Dive and Rescue working with Crowder Gulf Disaster Recovery and Debris Management recovered Wermers' body shortly after 1 a.m Wednesday.
A final homecoming late Friday afternoon for Clinton Wermers of Mt. Vernon, who lost his life while serving his country.
Wermers was a Lieutenant in the navy and died last month when his plane crashed on a training flight near New Orleans.
On Friday, he made his final journey back home to South Dakota with full military honors.
It is the most respectful and somber of Navy traditions.
The quiet marching of sailors alongside the coffin of one of their own, returning home with the gratitude of a nation but with the heavy hearts of family and loved ones ever present.
“You're bringing a sailor home, a shipmate, a brother home to their final resting place.”
Commander Thomas Simpson .with the U-S Navy came out on this cold, blustry day to make sure Clinton Wermers received a proper homecoming.
When Wermers died, he was trying to pass on what he had learned as a Navy pilot by taking a student pilot up in a T-34C Turbomentor airplane.
That airplane crashed, the student survived, but Wermers died.
This honor guard and the reverence they are showing honor Wermers service and his sacrifice…..and to recognize what his family has lost. “This happens all over the world with all our military services to make sure the proper respect is paid.”
This may happen all over the world, but today it happened in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, one more step towards Mitchell and home for Clinton Wermers.
Clinton Wermers' funeral will be held at 11 Monday morning at Holy Family Catholic Church in Mitchell.
Visitation will be held from 6 until 8 Sunday night at Will Funeral Home Chapel with a prayer service at 7.
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Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard