Missing US Air Force Sergeant Found Dead in Arizona

Lorenz Duchamps
By Lorenz Duchamps
June 19, 2023US News
Missing US Air Force Sergeant Found Dead in Arizona
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kory Wade, a 48th Rescue Squadron medical logistics airman assigned to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona. (Courtesy of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base)

The body of a U.S. Air Force airman was recovered at Roosevelt Lake in Arizona three days after he was initially reported missing during a training exercise, according to officials.

Sgt. Kory Wade, a 48th Rescue Squadron medical logistics airman, was reported missing on June 14 while conducting an exercise in preparation for supporting jump operations, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base confirmed in a statement on June 18, a day after his body was found.

The cause of death was not immediately clear.

The Gila County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call for a missing person at about 2 p.m. on June 14, which prompted a multi-day search and rescue effort led by the sheriff’s office.

Other agencies that assisted with the search include U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy personnel, and Tonto Rim Search and Rescue.

“We are saddened to confirm the death of Staff Sgt. Kory Wade, whose body was located following an exhaustive search at Roosevelt Lake,” Col. Scott Mills, 355th Wing commander, said in the statement.

“Sergeant Wade was a model Airman and consummate professional while assigned to the 48th Rescue Squadron and he will be deeply missed,” he continued. “Our thoughts are with Sergeant Wade’s family, friends, and teammates during this difficult time. Davis-Monthan Air Force Base leaders are postured to provide comfort and assistance to our community as we navigate this tragedy together.”

Wade was a 33-year-old New York native who entered active-duty service in November 2008. He arrived at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in April 2020.

His awards and decorations include the Air and Space Commendation Medal, Air and Space Achievement Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Air and Space Outstanding Unit Award, National Defense Service Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and U.S. Air Force Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Military Education Graduate Ribbon, the U.S. Air Force base stated.

Davis-Monthan Air Force Base was established in 1925 and named in honor of World War I pilots Lt. Samuel H. Davis and Chief Engineer Oscar Monthan. The base is located southeast of Tucson and is home to the sole aircraft “boneyard” for excess military aircraft and other aerospace vehicles. More than 4,000 retired U.S. Air Force aircraft are stored and preserved at the base.

Officials said details surrounding Wade’s death are still under investigation by the Gila County Sheriff’s Office.

Roosevelt Lake is a popular tourist destination for boating and other watercraft activities located in Tonto National Forest, Arizona’s largest national forest, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

While search efforts were still active, the public was asked to avoid the Bobcat Boat Launch at the Windy Hill Recreation Site, KTAR News reported.

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