Pilot who died fighting Australian wildfires served in Wyoming National Guard

WYOMING — One of three American firefighters who died after the water tanker they were in crashed battling Australian wildfires was identified as a Montana man who had served in the Wyoming National Guard.

The three men were identified by employers as Capt. Ian H. McBeth, 44, of Great Falls Montana; First Officer Clyde Hudson, 42, of Buckeye, Arizona; and Flight Engineer Rick A. DeMorgan Jr., 43, of Navarre, Florida.

According to a statement from Coulson Aviation, McBeth was a “highly qualified and respected C-130 pilot with many years fighting fire.”

McBeth grew up in Wray, Colorado and learned to fly in the Wyoming Air National Guard while he was a student at University of Wyoming, his father, Bill McBeth, told the Associated Press.

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