Photography by John Michael

"Preserving the memories so others will remember"™


Story by: Donna Dixon FORT BRAGG, N.C. – The Golden Knights, the U.S. Army’s official parachute demonstration team, who have just celebrated their 50th Anniversary will be making a historical jump at Silk Hope, NC. The Gold Demonstration team will be conducting this commemorative jump in veneration of their fellow Gold Team demonstrators who lost their lives in a devastating C-47 crash.  Golden Knights - US Army Parachute Team - 50th Anniversary

The jump will take place at the baseball field next to the fire department at 1:00 pm on 17 April 2010 as part of a re-dedication ceremony. Approximately 5000 to 7000 people will be present for this event and the nearby Farm Heritage Day celebration.

March 8, 1973, the military transport left Fort Bragg at 8:18 am carrying 14 members of the Army Golden Knights parachute team to their first performance of the show season at Overland, Kansas. About seven to 12 miles north of Fort Bragg communication with the plane was lost. The plane traveled another forty miles to the Silk Hope area, still without further communication. At approximately 8:45 am, Mrs. Janelle Newlin, who resided on the opposite side of the field, reportedly heard what sounded like an explosion. Looking up, she saw one wing drop off the fuselage and the plane tragically spiraled downward and crashed in a cornfield on the Basil Perry Farm, two miles north of Silk Hope in Northern Chatham County.

It was said that among the pieces of debris that fluttered down onto nearby homes and yards were brightly colored brochures, proclaiming the mission of the Golden Knights, their legendary history and invitations to join the military and possibly come to Assessment and Selection to become members of the team.

For over 37 years this catastrophic event has been memorialized by a stone tablet at the base of the Silk Hope Fire Departments flag pole.

CWO Richard A. Del Conte [P]
PFC Paul D. Albritton
SSG Joseph C. Barbarick
SGT Michael G. Buckley
SSG Bartley L. Bullington
SSG Cecil E. Davis
SSG Raymond C. Kinser Jr
SGT Edward M. Parrish
CWO Rodney H. Pease
SSG Joseph B. Pelter
SSG James F. Rice
SP5 Michael D. Wasley
SGT Francis P. Welch
SSG Robert T. Wolfe



Please join us in this tribute by paying homage to our fallen comrades from the U S Army Parachute Team. For more information about the Golden Knights’ or to learn more about the team’s unique history and to view a schedule of events, visit the GOLDEN KNIGHTS Website.


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Posted in events 7 years, 10 months ago at 1:20 pm.


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To the Golden Knight family members: There is a website which honors and remembers your loved ones, We also invite survivors of team mates to manage their family member’s on-line profile, and make sure their story is recorded. There is a tribute section to remember the victims of this terrible crash at Contact the to learn more about registering to manage your family member’s Golden Knight profile.

Donna Davis Claybrook says:

I lost my father Cecil Davis in this tragedy. I was 6 yrs old and my brother was 4. I am so proud to see that his life and all the others lost to this tragedy are so well remembered.

david l bullington says:

I know how you feel sis. Just wish we could have been closer. Love you.

Cheryl Rice De Los Santos says:

I lost my father in this crash. I was only a year old, turned 2 in June that year. I was surprised to find this online. I am glad to know my father is still remembered.

John Michael says:


I do my best to provide insights to remind people of the service and sacrifice of those who serve and the support that their families provide. Thank you for your father’s service and sacrifice.


Scott Gipson says:

Elisa – thanks for the note and you can find my email address on my web site at I will be happy to pass along any photos I have. Regards,.

Elisa Jarman says:

I lost my father SSgt. Bartley L. Bullington in that horrible crash. I also grew up being great friends, and one of the “adopted” grandchildren of Ed Parrish’s parents. His father unfortunately passed away quite a few years ago but, his mother Grace is still alive and would be honored to hear someone paying homage to her wonderful son. She is a beautiful woman who I have grown to love dearly. If you email me your phone number and or address I’d be glad to pass it along to her, she’d be glad to hear from you!

Elisa Bullington-Jarman

Scott Gipson says:

I was going through some old photos of mine and came across a picture of Ed Parrish, who was my first jump instructor in San Diegoin May of 1969. I was in the Navy at the time abourd an San Diego based nuclear submarine and the next summer after we got back from WESTPAC I moved into a house that Ed and Ken Dobel rented. My wife and I knew Ed well and were deepely sadden when we heard of the crash and keep all of the Golden Knights in our thoughts and prayers.

Scott Gipson
September 2010