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Flags lowered to honor NC-based crew in wildfire plane crash

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Flags at state buildings across North Carolina were lowered today in honor of the Charlotte-based crew of an Air National Guard plane that crashed over the weekend.

The military says four crew members died in that crash fighting a fire in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

The North Carolina Air National Guard said Tuesday the other two crew members were injured.

The dead are Lt. Col. Paul K. Mikeal, Maj. Joseph M. McCormick, Maj. Ryan S. David and Senior Master Sgt. Robert S. Cannon. All were from North Carolina.

The crash prompted the military to temporarily ground the seven remaining Air Force tankers used in firefighting.

Six tankers were cleared to resume flying Tuesday. The seventh, which was also part of the North Carolina Air National Guard, returned to its home base.

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RIP and Thanks for your Service

Of all the days to be mourning the loss of those who die in service to others, Independence Day. God rest their souls and bless those they've left behind. To those who have or still serve, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I will NEVER take my independence or the magnitude of what you do for granted.