Buckeye Pilot Killed Fighting Australian Fires

First Officer Paul Clyde Hudson
First Officer Paul Clyde Hudson [Photo from Coulson Aviation USA]

BUCKEYE — A Buckeye man, First Officer Paul Clyde Hudson, has been identified as one of the three Americans killed in Australia on Thursday when a C-130 Hercules aerial water tanker crashed.

First Officer Hudson, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy (1999) was identified by Coulson Aviation U.S.A. Officer Hudson spent 20 serving in the United States Marine Corp in a number of positions including C-130 pilot. He retired as a Lt. Colonel and received many decorations during his career.

First Officer Hudson is survived by his wife Noreen.

“Arizona is heartbroken by this news,” tweeted Governor Doug Ducey. “First Officer Paul Hudson was a hero who dedicated his life to service, first as a Marine, then as a firefighter. And when help was needed to fight wildfires in Australia, he didn’t hesitate. Arizona’s prayers go out to him & his family.”

According to the company in a Facebook post:

“While working in the Snowy Monaro Area in southern NSW, Australia contact was lost with one of our large airtankers, a Lockheed C-130 registration N134CG.

The aircraft had departed Richmond, NSW with a load of retardant and was on a firebombing mission. The accident is reported to be extensive and we are deeply saddened to confirm there were 3 fatalities.

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