Part of U.S. 82 in Leflore County is being renamed in honor of the fifteen Marines and one Navy Corpsman who died on July 10, 2017 in a plane crash that happened occurred about a mile from the Leflore/Sunflower County line inside Leflore County. Greenwood businessman and president of Hammons & Associates, Allan Hammons, and his firm were the designers of the monument.
“The memorial is being fabricated as we speak and the site is being prepared,” Hammons says. “The actual location of the memorial is directly across the highway from Mississippi Valley State University, on the grounds of the Leflore County Incubator building, which is a county-owned property and was actually used as the Emergency Operations Center during the search and recovery efforts for the victims and for the remains of the aircraft.”
Hammons adds that the call sign of the airplane was YANKY 72, and the expected rename of that section of U.S. 82 is YANKY 72 Memorial Highway. It will be unveiled to the public on July 14, 2018.
“There is a ceremony planned for the unveiling on July 14, and most, if not all, of the families will be here. There will be a contingency of Marines here too that will fly in. They’re expecting to have a flyover of the site by C-130s during the ceremony. The memorial itself is a 30-foot diameter circle that features the top view of the airplane, flying in the last known direction of the aircraft, which is almost due west. Around the perimeter there will be individual stones bearing the names and ranks of all of the victims. The monument will be illuminated at night.”