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Air Force Special Operations loadmasters laid to rest in Arlington

By Staff Sgt. C. Todd Lopez

WASHINGTON (July 12, 2002) -- Two special operations loadmasters were laid to rest today at Arlington National Cemetery.

Tech. Sgt. Sean M. Corlew, 37, of Thousand Oaks, Calf. and Staff Sgt. Anissa A. Shero, 31, of Grafton, W. Va., were both assigned to the 15th Special Operations Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Fla.

The two were part of a 10 person crew aboard an Air Force MC-130H aircraft. The aircraft crashed June 12, 2002 during takeoff in the Paktika province of Afghanistan. Army Sgt. 1st Class Peter P. Tycz II, 32, of Tonawanda, N.Y., also died in the crash.

Corlew participated in many operations, including Just Cause, Desert Shield, Desert Storm and Enduring Freedom. Since enlisting in the Air Force in 1985, he served at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., McChord AFB, Wash., and Kadena Air Base, Japan.

While stationed in Japan, and while participating in a training exercise near Guam, Corlew participated in the rescue of a Micronesian family whose boat had been lost at sea. Corlew is the recipient of four Air Medals, two Aerial Achievement Medals and two Air Force Commendation Medals. He is survived by his wife Amy, son Preston, daughter Miranda, father Richard, mother Jackie, sister Jennifer, brother Scott, and sister Michele Fornairo.

Shero participated in Operation X-MAS Wish through December 2001. The operation delivered some 5,735 pounds of goods to orphans in Honduras. Shero had over 2,300 flight hours with some 60 combat hours. She is the recipient of an Air Medal, an Air Force Commendation Medal and two Air Force Achievement Medals. She is survived by husband Nathan, stepdaughter Jessica, father James Shuttleworth, mother Mary Shuttleworth, brother James Shuttleworth, grandmother Mary Shuttleworth, and grandmother Edith Kenney.

The two were buried with full military honors with family, friends and co-workers in attendance.

“[They] were absolutely the best loadmasters and professional noncommissioned officers” said Lt. Col. Frank Fields, 15th SOS commander at an earlier memorial ceremony at Hurlburt Field. “Our heartfelt sympathies go out to their families. All Air Commandos are deeply saddened by their loss.”

The cause of the crash is not known at this time, although officials say it does not appear to be the result of hostile fire. The incident is under investigation.