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Woman returns to site of father's Navy plane crash in Orange County

May 28, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A Virginia woman traveled to Orange County's Modjeska Canyon on Memorial Day weekend to see the spot where her father, a Navy airman, died 43 years ago in a plane crash.

Wreckage of the Lockheed Neptune plane is still strewn across the canyon, just east of Irvine. Seven Navy crewmen were killed, 29 children were orphaned and seven wives were widowed.

Susan Walley Schlesman was taken to the site by Pat Macha, a retired history teacher in Orange County, who created Project Remembrance, an all-volunteer effort that helps families find crash sites and memorialize their loved ones.

"Inside this container are pictures and a remembrance of him, the way we remember him, as a Navy man who served his country and a family man who loved his family," Walley Schlesman said of her father at the site.

This is the third family Macha and the Project Remembrance team have escorted to the crash site.