Eagle Flight Detachment Memorial Monument Friends
EFD Monument
The Monument (above) at Giebelstadt Army Airfield, Germany, 1996-2006...
...was built to honor the 26 international victims aboard two US Army Black Hawk helicopters, conducting a peacekeeping mission in northern Iraq, who were killed by two US Air Force jet pilots 14 April 1994. The helicopter crews were based at Giebelstadt.

The components within the octagonal walkway were removed by Walk Umzug on 10 March 2006 under the supervision of Mr. Bill Marshall and LTC Scott Scales, and have been reinstalled at Ft. Rucker, AL, the US Army Aviation Center. A rededication ceremony was held 14 April, 2007, 13 years after the incident and 11 years after the monument's original installation in Germany.

"When a tragic accident like this happens, it is for us an especially deep loss. But it also moves us on to an unwavering commitment to correct that which went on. That is what we now must pursue.
We owe no less to those who died that day."

--General John Shalikashvili, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, 13 July 1994 news conference
The Victims
Bass Colbert Ellner garrett
SPC Cornelius A. Bass SPC Jeffrey C. Colbert* SPC Mark A. Ellner** CW2 John W. Garrett, Jr.
*Specialist Jeffrey Colbert was born May 4, 1971. He graduated from Middletown High School, Maryland in 1989. He joined the United States Army in August 1988 under the military’s delayed entry program. He completed Basic Training at Ft. Lewis, Washington in 1989 and served in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia and Iraq from August 1990 thru April 1991. He was deployed to Germany in the fall of 1992 where he was a crew chief on board the Army’s UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters. He rotated to Turkey every 2 months and was participating in Operation Provide Comfort when his helicopter was shot down. Jeff is sadly missed by his wife Laura Colbert-Barnhart, two daughters, Amber and Beth, his parents Butch and Cindy Colbert of Middletown, Md., and Arnita and Windell Sowers of Taneytown, Md., sisters Kelly Daughtrey and Amanda Miller, brother-in-laws, Keith Daughtrey and Phil Miller and nephews, Nicholas and Tyler Daughtrey.

**Specialist Mark A. (Tony) Ellner was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on 24 June, 1972.
He entered active duty military service in April, 1993. He graduated from basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina on his 21st birthday, receiving a promotion to E2, and was awarded Soldier of Cycle.
He then went to Fort Eustis, Virginia for Advanced Individual Training as a Black Hawk Mechanic where he finished top of his class as Distinguished Graduate. He arrived in Giebelstadt, Germany for his first assignment in October 1993.
He competed against individuals from eight different units for one available assignment in aviation. He was successful in his bid and was assigned to aviation and promoted to PVC E3 January 1994. After completing his first tour of duty in Turkey, he requested and was granted a second consecutive tour. He was in the middle of serving his second tour when his helicopter was shot down.
He was killed one week shy of his first service anniversary date. Specialist Ellner is survived by his mother, Georgia Bergmann, sisters, Jamee and Launa Ellner of Denver, Colorado, and his father, M.J. Ellner, of Red Bud, Illinois.

Hall McKenna Mounsey Robinson
CW2 Michael A. Hall
CPT Patrick M. McKenna***
WO1 Erik S. Mounsey
SGT Michael S. Robinson
***Captain Patrick McKenna was born in Alaska on 21 March 1967. He entered active duty military service in May, 1989, after graduating from the Citadel. He attended the Aviation Officer's Basic Course and completed the Initial Entry Rotary Wing Course at Fort Rucker, Alabama in August, 1990.
Captain McKenna was then assigned as a UH-60 Blackhawk platoon leader in A Company, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Aviation Regiment at Camp Stanley, Korea. Upon his return to CONUS, CPT McKenna attended the Aviation Officer's Advanced Course. In March, 1992, he was assigned to C Company, 6-159th Aviation Regiment at Schwäbisch Hall, and later, Giebelstadt, Germany.
He served as platoon leader and operations officer before being selected as Eagle Flight Detachment Commander in June, 1993. Captain McKenna is survived by his parents, LTC (ret.) and Mrs. Robert McKenna of Columbus, Georgia.
Piper Thompson SSG Paul Barclay

SFC Benjamin T. Hodge

COL Richard A. Mulhern

SSG Ricky L. Robinson

Ms. Barbara L. Schell

1LT Laura A. Piper
COL Jerald L. Thompson
MAJ Harry Shapland LTC Guy Demetz COL Hikmet Alp Abdulsatur Arab
LTC Jonathan C. Swann LT Ceyhun Civas Ghandi Hussein
LT Barlas Gultepe Bader Mikho
Mr. Salid Said
Ahmad Mohamad
Mission: Operation Provide Comfort

(May 1995, by Captain Shawn Manke)

Operation Provide Comfort was initiated after the Persian Gulf War when the United Nations took steps to protect the Kurdish people of northern Iraq, who were being persecuted by the Iraqi Government. Tens of thousands of refugees were fleeing northern Iraq and migrating to other countries, predominantly Turkey. The Combined Task Force (CTF) was created, consisting of U.S., French, British, and Turkish military contingents. Their role was to stop this inhumane treatment of the Kurdish population and to promote stability in northern Iraq.

The Combined Task Force
The mission of the CTF, Operation Provide Comfort, is today twofold. First, to promote security and stability for the Kurdish people living in the area by preventing Iraqi troop encroachment into the northern security zone. Second, to enforce the "No-Fly-Zone" (the airspace above Iraq from the 36th parallel north to the Iraqi border) with patrols flown by coalition aircraft, ensuring compliance with the United Nations mandates.

The Military Coordination Center
MCC, an element of CTF in Zakho, Iraq, performs routine road patrols, air patrols by UH60 Black Hawks, and conducts village visits throughout northern Iraq. They monitor the condition of the Kurdish people and show them a coalition presence to promote security. The MCC consists of U.S, French, British, and Turkish military contingents.

Eagle Flight
Since October 1991, C Company, 6th Battalion, 159th Aviation Regiment (based in Giebelstadt, Germany) has provided personnel to Diyarbakir, Turkey-b
ased Eagle Flight Detachment. Their mission is to provide CTF and MCC with aerial transport, search and rescue support, and emergency evacuation of United Nations and nongovernmental agency personnel from northern Iraq. Eagle Flight is the daily logistical supply and personnel transport to MCC in Zakho.

The versatility of the Black Hawk allows Eagle Flight to perform its mission with outstanding success. Since assuming the mission, Eagle Flight has flown over 6,500 hours in support of the Combined Task Force. The detachment has performed successful search and rescue operations for coalition pilots forced to eject, in addition to numerous medical evacuations from the austere environment of Iraq. Often they transport MCC members to remote Kurdish villages only accessible by helicopter or on foot. Other times, by using external fuel tanks, they transport personnel and equipment to the far reaches of the "No-Fly-Zone" for coordination with nongovernmental agencies or for UN officials to monitor the distribution of humanitarian aid.

Eagle Flight's six Black Hawks have a unique paint scheme of U.S. flags painted on the nose, sides, and belly of the aircraft to distinguish them from similar helicopters on other missions in the region. As they fly over the Kurdish region, people pause to return a wave or offer a salute, thankful for what the coalition forces have given them: Comfort and Hope, where once there was little.

(Photos in this section by David Nuss, US Army, and Eagle Flight patch at right designed by Jeff Gordon, Jim Teegarden and David Leach).

[The detachment's last mission was flown over Zahko on 3 September 1996, the last personnel left Diyarbakir on 21 Nov 1996.]

Iraq village visit
Zakhu base
EFD Group
memorial patchpatch
The Dedication of the EFDMMF on 14 April 1996

President Clinton Sends Best Wishes to International Dedication

White House fax(24 Apr 96; GIEBELSTADT, GERMANY)–US President Bill Clinton faxed "best wishes for a memorable ceremony" to organizers of the Eagle Flight Detachment Memorial Monument on the eve of the international dedication, writing also in part: "As we dedicate this monument to the service and memory of those who perished, let us rededicate ourselves to the cause for which they worked and died. And let our vigilance, compassion, and resolve to continue their task be a living and lasting memorial to them all".

The dedication ceremony, 14 April 1996, was attended by 11 family members of the victims as well as representatives of the US Embassy, the Kurdish people, the military of Turkey, Britain, France, and Germany. The US military sent: LTG John N. Abrams, Commander, V Corps; Major General Daniel J. Petrosky, the US Army-Europe Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations; Major General Jeffrey G. Cliver, US Air Force-Europe Director of Operations.

Letters of support and best wishes were also sent by: LTG Manfred Eisele, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Planning and Support, Department of Peace-Keeping Operations; US House of Representatives members Robert K. Dornan, David E. Skaggs, and Jerry F. Costello; Gen John M. Shalikashvili, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; Gen Dennis J. Reimer, Army Chief of Staff; and Gen George A. Joulwan, Supreme Allied Commander, Europe.

German and American military veterans' groups also attended, with the local American Legion chapter providing and laying a wreath at the end of the ceremony. The Stars & Stripes newspaper reporter estimated the total attendance to be 400.

Family members of the victims who attended were genuinely moved and felt the monument has helped them cope with their loss and provide some needed meaning and significance where it was lacking.

The eight-foot-tall monument, featuring two meter-long helicopter models, eight engraved stones, four large plaques, trees and walkways, honors the 26 international victims of the 14 April 1994 Black Hawk helicopter shootdown in northern Iraq. It was designed by Kathrin Schoenke and David Nuss, of Giebelstadt, Germany. Stone work was by Hugo Honecker of Giebelstadt.

The monument is the result of a private volunteer effort that raised over $50,000 in under two years. Sales of a commemorative print by artist George Finley, a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel living in Germany, titled "Eagle Flight", were responsible for the largest share of the funding. Over 225 prints have been sold to date.

Primary supporters of the Eagle Flight Detachment Memorial Monument are: George Finley, Reinhold Würth, Sikorsky Aircraft, Würzburger Pflasterbau, Overseas Military Car Sales, Schwäbisch Hall Flying Club, City of Würzburg, Sparkasse bank Würzburg foundation, Würzburg Officers & Civilians Wives Club, Schweinfurt Thrift Shop, Allied Signal, Pirinclik Air Base personnel, Serv-Air Inc/E-Systems, Hannelore Kohl; and other organizations and individuals.

German donors have accounted for about 40% of the funding, including contributions of materials and labor in addition to funds.


The White House, April 12, 1996:

Two years ago, on April 14, 1994, twenty-six people lost their lives in a tragic accident on
a mission of great compassion. Now, in Giebelstadt, Germany, we celebrate the lives of those
who perished and dedicate a monument to their memory. The loss of these men and women
is still fresh in the hearts of their families and their fellow citizens, and we honor their

We joined with Britain and France and Turkey to protect the Kurds in northern Iraq, to
shelter them from air attacks, to sustain them with food and fuel, clothing and medicine.
Our mission was one of caring and hope, and the lives of the fifteen Americans and their
eleven compatriots reflected its selfless purpose.

As we dedicate this monument to the service and memory of those who perished, let us
rededicate ourselves to the cause for which they worked and died. And let our vigilance,
compassion, and resolve to continue their task be a living and lasting memorial to them all.

Best wishes for a memorable ceremony.

(signed: Bill Clinton)


Kaye Mounsey (widow of WO1 Erik Mounsey):
Thanks to everyone for this wonderful ceremony. You are all always in our thoughts and prayers.

Lynette and Mark Ellner (father of Spc Mark 'Tony' Ellner):
This ceremony is about healing and honor-thanks so much!

George Finley ('Eagle Flight' artist)
It is an honor to have contributed to the memorial.

Dilshad Barzani (Representative [in Germany] of the Kurdish people):
It was an honor to me to attend this ceremony and to be able to express my condolences and my gratitude
in the name of the Iraqi Kurds'.

Kim and Perry Matthews (friends of Eagle Flight victims):
Thank you eternally for your efforts in keeping our memories alive.

Tammy Patterson & Family (friends of Eagle Flight victims):
Thanks for all the hard work everyone has done for keeping all the memories alive. God Bless.

Steve Nuss (brother of organizer David Nuss):
Blessed are you who wait upon the Lord. For you will mount up with wings as Eagles. You will run and not
be weary, you will walk and not be faint (Isaiah 40).

The Monument's Tale
(by David Nuss, President, EFDMMP, 26 April 1996)

Original sketch
plan diagram
scale model of monument
"Eagle Flight" Copyright George Finley
Hugo Honecker in studio
Honecker and friend prep site
Monument with new replicas
replicas in studio
In the days after the shootdown, I came to work in a daze. Three weeks earlier I had exchanged greetings with some of those we honor today as they arrived in Turkey. I knew the way to break through the daze would be to help, somehow, someway.

The opportunity to build a monument was there, and I asked for it. Major Young approved, and I applied my creativity to creating something instantly recognizable at a distance, something unique and memorable.

My friend Kathrin Schoenke took the initial sketch and the idea of putting it in a setting with trees and walkways on the lawn near the unit building, and developed it to several versions. A vote of C/6-159 Aviation Regiment soldiers approved the form we dedicate today, which concentrates on the number eight, since the Detachment's eight crewmembers are the focus of the monument.

The eight trees form the cross of Black Hawk main rotor blades; the octagonal walkway is made of 8-sided stones; the eight engraved stones are like points on the compass, their triangular shape leading the visitor to the center stone.

On the center stone's bronze plaques are the story of the incident, the story of the Eagle Flight mission, cast images of two Eagle Flight patches, and the list of 18 international military and civilian passengers. The lists are on the side of the stone below the corresponding helicopter model.

The helicopters themselves are designed to match the appearance of those lost in the incident, including American flags, external fuels tanks, and tail numbers.

During the autumn and winter of 1994, we measured the site and built a scale model, (except for the helicopters), which we took to several events for fundraising and publicity. It has been to Heidelberg, under the Channel to southern England, and even spent a day outdoors in Giebelstadt for a market-day. It has been seen by VIPs and been on tv, and we hope it will find a home next month at the Army Aviation Museum at Ft. Rucker, Alabama.

We initially approached the project as a private venture, but as it got bigger, it was necessary to establish a private organization under Army Regulations. We committed to not using government funds to build it, and set out to raise funds.

The unit commander and his wife, Scott and Jacque Netherland, joined us and a former community member, Ric Mathews, in forming the Eagle Flight Detachment Memorial Monument Project Private Organization (EFDMMP). David Leach has since joined the organization as our new Vice President.

Mr. Mathews introduced us to artist George Finley, who visited the unit several times, viewing photos and videos, interviewing unit members, and created several versions of what is now the limited edition commemorative print "Eagle Flight" (right, copyright George Finley), which has been responsible for the largest component of this monument's funding.

As 1995 rolled on, our mass mailings seeking funding were producing very little with the exception of Sikorsky Aircraft, whose support was both early and generous. Inquiries to media were rebuffed.

We stuck to the idea, and in early 1996, Mr. Finley found very generous local sources for us, which allowed us to meet our design goal. In addition, Ms. Schoenke's persistence with German sources resulted in donations of valuable materials and labor. She also obtained bids on components, wrote contracts, and made construction arrangements.

Local master stone sculpturer Hugo Honecker created the nine stones from gray limestone mined and cut a few miles from the monument site, in Geroldshausen, by the Albert Wirths Stone Works.

We contracted the bronze plaques with the Plein casting company of Speicher, Germany. The helicopter models were initially contracted to casting artist Herbert Loehr and his colleagues across northern Germany.

Walkway materials and installation, plus landscaping materials and installation, were provided by local governments, businesses, and other German benefactors. German sources account for nearly half of the funds raised.

The EFDMMP has set aside funds under the trusteeship of William Marshall of the American Legion and Bruce Withers of the Veterans of Foreign Wars to maintain the monument over the years and to move the central components of the monument to Ft. Rucker, Alabama whenever C/6-159 moves or the Americans leave the post.

Over 200 "Eagle Flight" prints remain to be sold; further sales and donations will help us add solar lights and a bench to the monument, reimburse expenses, and add to the maintenance/transportation trust fund. Residual funds after the eventual move will go to Ft. Rucker for installation/maintenance of the monument.

The EFDMMP itself will deactivate 31 May 1996 to be replaced by the trust fund.

Update 1999: New Helicopter Models
The original contracted helicopter models were delivered late, and were not even to cast metal specification. Wooden models only vaguely resembling the Black Hawk were delivered and installed (above, next to Guest Comments in Dedication section), displayed until a few days after the dedication, and then removed.

They were replaced in 1997 with what is believed to be the largest scale model castings of Black Hawk helicopters in the world (right, below). They were made in America by subcontractors of Replicas by Tyson, Fort Myers, Florida, and have withstood the harsh German weather ever since.

The "Eagle Flight" print is still available, still contributing to our fund, as is a new contributor, a digital collage of the monument and crew members, commisssioned by next-of-kin. [2006: availability of collage TBD]

Residual funds are still on hand, and the folks that put the monument together are now coordinating the move to Ft. Rucker.

The entire monument covers an area of about 15x15 meters and adjoins and existing flag plaza that serves the military installation.

The two helicopter models are hollow, bronze cast with patina finish, about one meter long each, mounted on metal arms two to three feet above the center stone, which is about five feet tall. Scaled up from a 1:48 model, features include the UH-60A Black Hawk in ERFS configuration, with HF radio antennas and other fine details. They were contracted with Frederick J. Tyson of Replicas by Tyson, Fort Myers, Florida, and produced in 1996-97 by his subcontractors, modelmakers and casters.

The four center stone plaques, about a meter tall each, are cast from bronze by Plein Bronzen of Speicher, Germany. They contain passenger lists, the story of Eagle Flight/OPC, the shootdown, as well as castings of the Eagle Flight patches.

They are mounted on gray limestone from a quarry a few miles from the monument site, in Geroldshausen. The cutting of stones was done by the Albert Wirths Stone Works in Geroldhausen with engraving of the crew member triangular stones and all stone installation plus plaque and model mounting completed by Hugo Honecker of Giebelstadt, Germany.

An 8-sided walkway of 8-sided stones surrounds the 2.5-meter diameter central area. Walkways extend about 5 meters from there, to the street and to a flag plaza. The materials and labor for the walkways were donated by German companies. Eight donated trees fan out from this central area to form an X, like Black Hawk rotor blades. A hedge line about 10 meters from the center stone encloses the rest of the monument area.

The monument is located near the main gate and adjacent to helicopter parking but is nonetheless a tranquil spot for reflection.

Update 2006:
The move of the central components is under way. Plans are to move the triangular and center stones, and a small donor plaque and stone. Fundraising and Memorialization Committee permitting, we will plant trees and lay an octagonal walkway around the central components at Ft. Rucker.

Update 2007:
January: Wiregrass Memorials and Hammer Contractors selected for the installation. Foundations poured late January.

Detailed Photos:

Lead pax Trail pax OPC Mission Event description
Bass triangle Colbert triangle Ellner triangle Garrett triangle
Hall triangle McKenna triangle Mounsey triangle Robinson triangle
copyright 1994-2007

some material used by permission