upload image

Arrow Air Flight 1285

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 12 Dec 1985 to 12 Dec 1985
Location: Gander, Newfoundlandmap
Surnames/tags: military military disasters
Last profile change on 6 Jul 2019
07:59: Gaye (Colson) Cairns posted a message on the page for Arrow Air Flight 1285. [Thank Gaye for this]
This page has been accessed 853 times.



On Thursday, December 12, 1985, the chartered DC-8 shortly after takeoff from Gander en route to Fort Campbell, the aircraft stalled, crashed, and burned about half a mile from the runway, killing all 248 passengers and 8 crew members aboard. The accident was investigated by the Canadian Aviation Safety Board (CASB), which determined the probable cause of the crash was the aircraft's unexpectedly high drag and reduced lift condition, most likely due to ice contamination on the wings' leading edges and upper surfaces, as well as underestimated onboard weight.[1]

The 248 passengers were all members of the United States military, mostly consisting of the 101st Airborne Division of the US Army, specifically the 3d Battalion, 502d Infantry. They were returning for Christmas from the Sinai Peninsula to Fort Campbell, Kentucky via Cologne, Germany and Gander, Newfoundland after completing peacekeeping missions with the Multinational Force and Observers.[2]


This crash served as a pivot point for the US Army regarding the handling of medical records and deployed troops. Until this time, medical records on soldiers were sent with troops as they deployed and returned. As the records were on board during the disaster, identifying the bodies proved difficult as reliable dental and medical records were incinerated in the fire. Notifying next of kin and returning bodies home took weeks. This incident also solidified the need for the Army to ensure deploying soldiers had their final will in place before deploying. [3]

List of Passengers and Crew

List of Passengers and Crew on Arrow Air Flight 1285
Cockpit Crew
Rank First Name Last Name
CaptainJohn JosephGriffin
First OfficerJohn RobertConnelly
Flight EngineerMikeFowler
Cabin Crew
Rank First Name Last Name
Flight Service ManagerMaiaMatasowski
Flight AttendantJean ESerafin
Flight AttendantDesireeMcKay
Flight AttendantRuthiePhillips
Flight AttendantStaceyCutler
Rank First Name Last Name
PFCMark EdwardAbrams
PFCHerbert DAlexander
SSGSteven AllenAndreoff
SP4Ivan RAponte
PVTStuart NArrowood
SPCRoger DArvin
1LTLuis AAvillan
SPCBobby LBanks
SPCDaniel MarkBarber
CPLEric JosephBaumann
PVTEdward MyronBeer
SPCWyatt DavidBenson
PFCSammy DaleBittle
CSMHasland OBlack
PFCPaul JBostwick
SGTJohn PBowen
SPCJohn T, Jr.Bradley
SPCSteven JBradshaw
PFCDarwin PBrady
SGTCharles FBrancato
SPCTony LynnBrasfield
PVTWilliam RBrilya
SGTGeorge AndrewBritt
PFCJohnny LBrown
PVTGregory ABuchanan
SPCJames DBurdette
PFCDavid ABury
PFCGregory ThomasCarter
SGTMark ECarter
CPTTroy GCarter
PVTPhillip RCaudill
PFCGarett RChaddock
SPCStephen RColby
PFCBobby LeeColeman
SGTMiguel ACordero
PFCOrlando Freeman, Jr.Council
PFCMichael EdwardCraig
PVTPaul MCrawford
CPLTroy RayCupples
SP4Walter Gene, Jr.Daniels
SP4Thomas EDanielson
SGTJames ADavis
SPCJimmy D, Jr.Davis
SSGThomas EDavis
PFCHerbert R, Jr.Deckman
CPLJoseph L, Jr.Deventura
SPCThomas DDixon
SSGJames FDuckworth
SGTBrian LDumpert
SGTBrian E Easley
CPTMichael CEastman
CPTKyle LeeEdmonds
SGTJames AFerguson
SPCMark WFerguson
PVTKevin FFink
CPLThomas JFoskey
CPLPaul KFuller
SGTKevin AGantzer
SPCAnthony LGayton
PFCScott WGerdes
SGTGary LGivens
SFCDavid LGodsey
SPCMichael JGonzalez
PVTJoseph WGoree
SPCKelly OGraham
SPCThomas LGraham
SSGDouglas FGrala
SPCChristopher ThomasGray
CPTBrian DHaller
PFCWilliam W, IIIHansen
PVTChester DonelHardeman
CW3Benny JHardin
PFCBrian DHarris
2LTRobert BHart
PVTMark SHassing
PVTDavid WHeidecker
SGTPaul CHemingway
PVTJoe W IIHighfill
PFCThomas THileman
SPCDonald EHobbs
PFCKevin SHobbs
SGTJerry WHolliman
SPCRobert SHoyer
SPCCharles WHughes
SGTFrank JHughes
PFCJeffrey DHull
CPLHerbert GIvy
PVTAdrian DJackson
LTCMarvin Alvis, Jr.Jeffcoat
SGTDonnie KJennings
SPCTodd MJennings
PVTJerrin AJohnson
SGTRavon LJohnson
SGTJoseph AJones
PVTDavid AJordan
SPCRobert SKaplin
SGTJeffrey ScottKee
SGTTimothy LKidd
PFCJerry JKing
CPTRobert MKing
SGTThomas JKirby
PFCBruce EKiser
1LTJohn K, Sr. Kosh
SGTMark RKubic
SPCJohn MKuehn
SPCRandall ALane
MAJMichael RLawrence
SGTDonald GLineberry
PFCWilliam MLloyd
1LTPaul DLong
SPCDavid CLundgren
SP4Benjamin RogersLynch
SGTPaul AaronMcArdle
SPCChristine MMcCleery
1SGRobert FMcCook
2LTJ ScottMcCormick
SSGJerry WMalone
CPTEdward JManion
PVTThomas L, Jr.Martin
PVTDonald LMathis
SGTRonald CMayhew
CW2Dirk AMiller
SGTLarry GMiller
SSGRichard DeanMiller
SPCTimothy EMiller
SGTJohn MortonMillett
SGTJames AMollet
SGTSamuel T, Jr.Moore
SPCSteven WMullins
SSGMichael WadeMurray
SPCMichael ANapier
SFCJoseph ANartia
SFCDonald CNelson
PVTKenneth JNelson
SSGSteven RNelson
SGTRichard SNichols
PFCMichael TNolan
SGTFrancisco, Jr.Ocasio
PFCRobert LOlson
PVTGregory AOwens
SPCGary WPadgett
PFCTheodore LPafford
SGTJeffrey RPalmisano
SGTThomas FParsons
PVTVickie SPerry
SPCTerry RPevey
SGTJames D, Jr.Phillips
1LTBarry C Powell
SPCRaimo KPuntanen
SPCMichael RRahr
CAPTTerry LRains
PFCDavid L, Jr.Rawls
PFCPatrick SReasbeck
PVTMelvin W, Jr.Reed
SSGJessey TReynolds
PFCGregory WRichardson
PFCRichard DRimiller
SPCBobby ERoberts
SSGWilbur G JrRoberts
SGTVergil L, Jr.Robertson
SGTThomas E, Jr.Robinson
PFCRonald CRussell
SPCRay ARuth
CSPCRicky ASchmoyer
SGTPeter ESchremp
PFCKeith MSchultz
SPCGary LScott
SP4Blanchard ThomasSearcy
SSGRonald WSears
PFCFrederic CSeitz
SSGTimothy DSellner
PVTErnest WSerna
SPCMichael DShipley
PFCJames EShook
PFCRobert DSchultz
SPCCarl NSimmons
SPCGeorge HSimmons
SPCMatthew SSloan
PVTClinton DSmith
SFCRex VSmith
SPCScott JSmith
PFCThomas ESmith
SPCJames MSpears
SPCMichael SStack
PFCDavid CStaten
PFCAlexander WStearn
2LTKip LStevens
SGTRandy SStewart
CW2Earl CStone
PFCGary L, Jr.Straub
PVTScott AStritch
SGTRandall KThomas
SPCRobert FThomas
SGTDanny CThompson
SPCScott BThompson
SGTChristopher GThornton
PVTThomas NTucker
SSGVincent LTurner
PFCSteven CVenneri
SPCGuy WalkerWalker
PFCBrian EWallace
PFCMark EWallace
SFCThomas EWest
PFCJohn CWester
SPCFrank C, Jr.Wheeler
SSGEmery S, IIIWhite
SPCMichael LWhiteman
PVTFranklin RWilkins
SPCRodger LWilson
SSGJames AWinston
SPCJames HWilliamson
SGTRichard NWillingham
SPCTheodore MWisson
1LTJohn BWitmer
SGTKevin MWitt
SGTRobert Neil, IIWolford
SSGLawrence AWood
SGTWilliam LWooliver
SGTVirginia "Jenny" RuthWord
CPLJohn RichardWright
CPLRobert, Jr.Wyn
SP4Cary TYeargan
SP4Cathleen MZiegler


  1. Aviation Occurrence Report 85-H50902
  2. Arrow Air Flight 1285
  3. Vowell, M. Fatal Gander Crash
  • "Aviation Occurrence Report 85-H50902", Arrow Air Inc. Douglas DC-8-63 N950JW, Gander International Airport, Newfoundland, 12 December 1985" (PDF). Canadian Aviation Safety
  • Vowell, Michele. "Fatal Gander Crash: 1985 tragedy impacts Fort Campbell, Army-wide procedures to present day," Fort Cambell Courier (Fort Campbell, KY). August 9, 2012. Accessed September 6, 2018. Online Archive
  • Arrow Air Flight 1285
  • "Victims of the Airline Crash in Newfoundland," The New York Times (New York, NY), p. 4. December 14, 1985. Accessed September 6, 2018. Online Archive

See Also:

  • Zambrano, Mark, and Lisa L. Frazier. "In Illinois, Services Held for 8 Soldiers." Chicago Tribune (Chicago, IL), December 16, 1985. Accessed June 04, 2019. Online Archive.
  • McClure, Maria Rice. "Journey of Healing: Anniversary of Tragedy Brings Soldiers, Families Solace." U.S. Army. December 17, 2015. Accessed June 04, 2019. Online Archive.


  1. Many of the servicemember's ranks are reported inconsistently. I have chosen to use the rank listed on the headstone as a standard, if available.
  2. This is an ongoing project to add and connect, as far as possible, the above service members. Please feel free to add, edit, and help out. Current completion: 2/8 Crew (25%), 27/248 Servicemembers (10.88%).


On 6 Jul 2019 at 07:59 GMT Gaye (Colson) Cairns wrote:

Excellent work Patricia!

Categories: Arrow Air Flight 1285