Patriot Profiles

Although there are many more Patriots enshrined in the Patriots Peace Memorial than are profiled below, many of their individual stories are unknown, other than they all perished in the line of duty while on active or reserve duty, under conditions other than declared hostile actions or actual combat.

In order to personalize this memorial for future generations of Kentuckians, those who have been enshrined during formal ceremonies conducted annually on Memorial Day since 2007, as well as selected others enshrined as part of the original (2002) and subsequent (2006) mass enshrinements, have been profiled alphabetically below.

Families of previously enshrined Patriots not profiled below can request that their loved ones be included, by providing basic information concerning service and circumstances surrounding their deaths, via

ADKINS, Cory Allen, Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, Louisville, Kentucky; January 31, 2008, motor vehicle accident while serving with School of Infantry, East Division, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

AMES, Scot Wayne Jr., 1st Lieutenant, U.S. Air Force, Pekin, Indiana; February 19, 2021, tragically perished in a military aircraft training accident near Montgomery, Alabama, while serving as flight instructor pilot at Columbus Air Force Base, Columbus, Mississippi.

AUGUSTIN, Adrien E., Private, U.S. Marine Corps, Covington, Kentucky; January 17, 2009, cardiac arrest, while undergoing recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina.

BEACHAM, Monica L., Petty Officer (2nd Class), U.S. Coast Guard, Clarksville, Tennessee; October 29, 2009, aircraft collision with Marine Corps AH-1 Cobra helicopter, while serving as radio operator on search and rescue mission off coast of San Diego. All crew members were lost at sea.

BECK, Morris O., Major, U.S. Air Force; November 4, 1959, perished at sea when armed B-52 aircraft, which he was piloting on patrol, caught fire and crashed into the Gulf of Mexico. Rescue efforts failed to recover the aircraft or bodies of the crew. Major Beck, was a veteran of World War II and the Korean War at the time of his death.

BROWN, Delbert L., Lieutenant Junior Grade, U.S. Navy, Louisville, Kentucky; October 10, 1957, aircraft accident in the Bering Sea while on patrol off coast of Alaska. Credited with saving lives of two crew members before perishing at sea when swept off wing in heavy seas.

COLE, Terry L., Engineman 3rd Class, U.S. Navy, Louisville, Kentucky; September 3, 1955, training accident at sea while participating in grounded ship salvage operation near Coronado, California.

DAVIS, William L., Captain, U.S. Air Force, Louisville, Kentucky; September 2, 2012, motorcycle accident while on active duty orders reassigning him from a two (2) year deployment in Saudi Arabia with the Defense Contract Management Agency, to a military billet in the Boston, MA area.

Those we love
  don’t go away.
They work beside us
   every day.
Unseen, unheard
    but always near.
Still loved, still missed,
    and very dear.

— Anonymous

DOUGLAS, Travis Michael, Lieutenant Junior Grade, U.S. Navy, Louisville, Kentucky; December 10, 2011, of natural causes, while providing regulatory oversight of Naval Nuclear Power Propulsion Program activities at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

GALLANT, Taylor Joseph, Petty Officer (2nd Class), U.S. Navy, Lexington, Kentucky; January 26, 2012, of natural causes while training off coast of North Carolina as Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Technician assigned EOD Mobile Unit 12, Virginia Beach, Virginia.  

GIBSON, Jonathan S., Chief Warrant Officer 3, U.S. Navy, Elizabethtown, Kentucky; September 22, 2013, aircraft accident while attempting to land Knighthawk helicopter on deck of guided missile destroyer deployed in Red Sea. Body never recovered.

HATCHER, Robert H., Aviation Structural Mechanic Airman Apprentice, U.S. Navy, Elizabethtown, Kentucky; March 12, 1973, accidentally struck and killed by an operational vehicle on taxiway, while inspecting jet aircraft during inclement weather at Oceana Naval Air Station, Virginia Beach, Virginia.

HEAD, John David, Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, Louisville, Kentucky; August 28, 1950, accidental firearms discharge, while enroute to Korean War theater with activated Marine Corps Reserve infantry company. Recipient of Silver Star and Purple Heart for prior combat service, during World War II at Peleliu and Okinawa.

HIGGINS, William R. “Rich,” Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps, Louisville, Kentucky; July 6, 1990, captured, held hostage, tortured, and murdered by Hizballah, while serving in non-combat capacity with United Nations, as Chief, Observer Group Lebanon. Previously served in 1970 as Officer Selection Officer, Marine Corps Recruiting Station, Louisville, Kentucky.

HILGERT, Christopher K., Sergeant, U.S. Army, Danville, Indiana; August 8, 1993; command detonated land mine, while participating in Operation Restore Hope, a United States led humanitarian mission in Mogadishu, Somalia, with 716th Military Police Company.

HILLIARD, Andrew F., Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy, Anchorage, Kentucky; June 15, 2015, natural causes while serving as an intelligence officer with Office of Naval Intelligence, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

HOPKINS, Steven David, Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy, Lubbock, Texas; August 1, 2017; swept overboard and lost at sea while serving on USS Stethem during routine operations in South China Sea. Multi-nation air and sea search failed to recover his body.

KEMPER, Robert D., Commander, U.S. Navy, Shelbyville, Kentucky; March 3, 1971, aircraft accident while serving as flight instructor at Meridian Naval Air Station, Meridian, Mississippi, when his aircraft experienced severe icing conditions during an instrument flight.

KUSTES, Olivia Louise, Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, Rineyville, Kentucky; January 16, 2019, aberrant motor vehicle accident while serving with 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, Cherry Point, North Carolina on temporary duty with Marine Corps Recruiting Station, Louisville, Kentucky.

Word to the Nation: Guard zealously your right to serve in the Armed Forces, for without them, there will be no other rights to guard.”

— President John F. Kennedy

LACEWELL, Lasley “Kirk” Jr., Lieutenant, U.S. Navy, Henderson, Kentucky; January 9, 1955, aircraft accident during nighttime training mission in the vicinity of San Bernardino Mountain, while serving as naval aviator at Carmel, California.

LONGEST, Michael Troy Jr., Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army and former Navy corpsman, attached to Marine Corps, New Albany, Indiana; March 2, 2003, cardiac arrest, while on authorized liberty at Louisville, Kentucky during pre-deployment training at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

McCREIGHT, Brent A., Airman, U.S. Navy, Eminence, Kentucky; December 21, 1990, drowned when a ferry carrying sailors from USS Saratoga (CV-60) capsized and sank in the Mediterranean Sea (Bay of Haifa) off the coast of Haifa, Israel.

McKINNEY, Donnie P., Specialist 4, Kentucky Army National Guard, Marion, Kentucky; July 26, 1986, lightning strike while participating in field firearms training with his unit at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

MILLS, Regina Pearl, Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy, Hadon, Kentucky; January 23, 2012, struck by passing motorist while assisting local law enforcement with injury accident while enroute to her ship, USS Nimiitz (CVN 68), where she was serving as first and only woman in U.S. Navy as Aircraft Handling Officer.

MOORE, Jacob M., Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, Catlettsburg, Kentucky; March 18, 2022; tragically perished in a military aircraft training accident during North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) exercise in Norway, while serving as V-22 Osprey crew chief with 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Corps Air Station New River, Jacksonville, North Carolina.

MUNZ, John Albert, Surfman, U.S. Coast Guard, Louisville, Kentucky; June 27, 1916, accidental drowning while attempting perilous rescue of boaters, as well as fellow Coast Guardsmen, after boaters were swept over the dam at the Falls of the Ohio.

OWENS, Gregory A., Specialist (4th Class), U.S. Army, Louisville, Kentucky; December 12, 1985, aircraft accident at Gander, Newfoundland, while returning home with 101st Airborne Division following deployment in Egypt. All 247 soldiers aboard the aircraft perished.

PAGE, James Albert, Captain, U.S. Army, Louisville, Kentucky; January 21, 2013, fatal heart attack while serving as Historian of 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, following combat deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

PENNINGTON, Rollie Brandon, Chief Warrant Officer 2, U.S. Marine Corps, Louisville, Kentucky; April 9, 2022; tragically perished while serving on active duty with 2nd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, Marine Corps Reserve, Fort Sheridan, Illinois.

ROBERTSON, Kenneth D., Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, Radcliff, Kentucky; July 20, 2021, tragically died in a drowning accident, while kayaking with family and friends at Elizabethtown, Kentucky, during authorized leave from assigned unit at Camp Pendleton, California. 

SATTERFIELD, Adam C., Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, Crestwood, Kentucky; January 23, 2015; aircraft accident while serving as co-pilot of UH-1Y Huey helicopter at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California.

SCHWAB, Peter Paul, Commander, U.S. Navy, Jacksonville, Florida; August 27, 1998; perished in training accident while serving as Operations Officer for Strike-Fighter Wing at Naval Air Station Cecil Field, Jacksonville, Florida. 

SIMPSON, M. Brice, 1st Lieutenant, U.S. Air Force, Louisville, Kentucky; September 17, 1998, training accident at Misawa, Japan when F-16 aircraft crashed and burned. His death, under circumstances other than declared hostile military action, served as the inspiration for the conception and construction of the Patriots Peace Memorial.    

TAFEL, Charles Brucker, Specialist, U.S. Army, Louisville, Kentucky; July 31, 2022; tragically perished while serving on active duty with 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Hunter Army Airfield, Fort Stewart, Georgia in support of Global War on Terror.

YECKERING, Joshua Adam, Petty Officer (3rd Class), U.S. Navy, Owensboro, Kentucky; May 23, 2011; accidental drowning while serving as Hospital Corpsman assigned to Marine Corps Expeditionary Unit, Camp Pendleton, California.