USMC Vietnam aviation casualty group (GySgt Igarta, HMM-363)
Group of three to Gunnery Sergeant Benito Igarta, Jr, HMM-363: Air Medal, slot brooch, machine-engraved “GYSGT/Benito Igarta, Jr./USMC”; Navy Commendation Medal, crimp brooch, machine-engraved “Benito Igarta, Jr./GYSGT, USMC”; Purple Heart. Slot brooch, machine-engraved “GYSGT/Benito Igarta, Jr/USMC”. The ribbon of the Commendation has a hole from a device (now detached).
On 21 April 1966, Gunnery Sergeant Benito “Sonny” Igarta was a crewman aboard an HU-34D on a large insertion mission into an unsecured landing zone. At the landing zone, a heavy burst of fire hit Igarta’s aircraft, which rolled inverted and crashed, killing all aboard. Igarta, who joined the Marines in 1952, was from Honolulu. He is buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu. A very early Marine Corps aviation casualty group.