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Photo Information

Lance Cpl. Jordan Matting, a corrosion control technician with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 31, left, and Sgt. Robert Wilkes, the noncommissioned officer-in-charge of the MALS-31 corrosion control facility, right, places graphics of Navy warfare devices in honor of Hospitalman 1st Class Kevin Frank, July 29.

Photo by Cpl. Rubin J. Tan

MALS-31 corrosion control assists in rededication

9 Aug 2013 | Cpl. Rubin Tan

In honor of Hospitalman 1st Class Kevin Frank, Marines with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 31 corossion control, assisted in the rededication of the Air Station’s display CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter.

Frank served aboard Fightertown as a corpsman attached to the Search and Rescue unit which was decommissioned on April 15, 2005.

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 things.  

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.

The CH-46 displayed aboard the Air Station was once active with the SAR unit. It was repainted in June, covering the original dedication to Frank.

The new dedication includes the Navy’s Aviation Warfare Specialist device and Fleet Marine Force device above the sailor’s name.

“It’s important to do things like this because it honors someone who paid the ultimate sacrifice while saving the life of others,” said Sgt. Robert Wilkes, MALS-31 corrosion control facility noncommissioned   officer-in-charge.

Staff Sgt. John Partridge, MALS-31 corrosion control facility staff non-commissioned officer-in-charge, created the graphics for the devices   and the final product with help from Marines in his facility.

The graphics include the Naval and Coast Guard Aircrew badge and Fleet Marine Force device above the corpsman’s name.

“To be able to put someone’s name on an aircraft allows them to live forever and to be known for what they represent, it’s a tradition that continues to this day,” said Partridge, a native of Buffalo, N.Y.

Names typically painted on aircraft include plane captains, pilots, sergeants major, executive officers and commanding officers and sometimes even those chosen as a Marine   of the quarter.

“Those who served before us have created the Corps we are a part of today and without their sacrifices there probably wouldn’t be a Marine Corps,” said Wilkes, a native of Beaufort.