Deputy Sheriff Joseph Omlin, III

Deputy Sheriff Joseph Omlin, III

Curry County Sheriff's Office, Oregon

End of Watch Monday, July 11, 1983

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Joseph Omlin, III

Deputy Joseph Omlin and Trooper Donald Smith of the Oregon State Police were killed in an aircraft accident while on a marijuana observation flight in a remote wilderness area in southern Oregon.


  • Age 36
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Aircraft accident

Most Recent Reflection

View all 7 Reflections

Joe and "Big Don" were two of my best friends...and I was their dispatcher ( we also dispatched for Oregon State Police on swing and grave yard shifts ) I was the last person from Curry County Sheriff's Office to talk to Joe that day as he readied himself for that flight. We had talked and he told me where they had intended to fly looking for marijuana and said they might drop into Cave Junction for lunch. As he was starting out the door I called to you have your portable ( hand held radio ) and he said no and went back to the patrol office to pick one up...and said thanks Bake Bake ( that is what he called me ) and off he went...forever. They were lost on my shift ( day ) and we could not find them......USCG brought in a hilo and Sgt. Tom Benz of Oregon State Police flew with them to try and find them...they were my best friends so I just could not leave my dispatch so worked for 36 hours until their plane was located at the Green Wall on the Illinois River. One of the saddest days of my life!! Joe was road patrol Sgt., marine patrol, and search and rescue leader...and he handled all 3 jobs very well. We hired 2 men to replace him. He and Don will always live in my heart with the most wonderful memories. Great job my friends!!

Deputy Karen Baker, Retired
Curry County Sheriff's Office

October 20, 2011

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