Senior Airman Donald Herman Heitkamp

Senior Airman Donald Herman Heitkamp

United States Air Force Security Forces, U.S. Government

End of Watch Thursday, May 29, 1986

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Donald Herman Heitkamp

Senior Airman Donald Heitkamp, Airman First Class Barry Holmes, Staff Sergeant Charles Huskey, and their two pilots were killed when their UH-1 helicopter crashed shortly after 3:00 pm, near Bear Butte State Park, South Dakota.

They were providing security for a missile maintenance movement for a convoy from Ellsworth AFB to Opal when the accident occurred. An additional Security Policeman who was participating in the security of the convoy was the only sole survivor of the crash.

Senior Airman Heitkamp served with the United States Air Force Security Forces for less than three and a half years and was assigned to the 45th Missle Security Squadron.


  • Age 23
  • Tour 3 years, 4 months
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Aircraft accident
  • Location South Dakota

aircraft accident, Convoy

Most Recent Reflection

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My Name is Roy Clements
I served with Don at Elsworth SD in the 45 missle sq, He was my buddy, same 4 member Fire Team on off base convoys, along with Sgt Coza as our Fire Team Leader,
and Mike (?), had good times in the field, spur of the moment snowball fights comes to mind, waiting for our unit to get set to escort, I carried the 203 grenade launcher under my 16, Don had the M60, Mike was Dons assistant if ever needed, and Coza was da man, we all went separate ways after work, didn't hang out much after work, I think thats what made us all bond better, always had story's to tell since we last saw each other, but I know one thing he sure was excited about you, going home stories I mean,,,,
Now the sad part,,
I went to Iceland for a year, stationed at Fairchild AFB, Wa
Not sure how long I was there for but not long, I was called into the commanders office and told me (knowing I came from South Dakota), about what had happen, he asked if I wanted the names, all I remember saying is No Sir, and may I be excused, I cried like a baby and didn't even know who served, 3 days later coming off shift (7am) got drunker than snot in my room and made the call to get the names, I was doing okay till he got to Don, , Thanks Don
Big Man with a BIG HEART

Roy Clemensts
45 Missle Sq

April 8, 2024

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