VIRGINIA BEACH -- The Virginia Air National Guard is marking the 11th anniversary of the fatal Red Horse aviation disaster.
11 years ago Saturday, 18 guardsmen were killed in a plane crash. The men were from the 203rd Red Horse Flight Engineering Battalion out of Camp Pendleton in Virginia Beach.
The unit was returning from a two week civil engineering mission in Florida when they encountered bad weather over Unadilla, Georgia. Their C-23 Sherpa aircraft went down, killing the 18 Red Horse members on board and three Florida Army Guard aviators.
The tragedy is being called the worst peacetime aviation disaster in the history of the National Guard and the worst loss of life in the Virginia National Guard since World War II.
The current-day Red Horse team will take time out of their drilling duties Saturday to pause and remember their fallen teammates during a private ceremony at Camp Pendleton.