AT2 DANIEL REX BIDDLE
Hometown / City: Burgoon, OH
Date of Death: October 3, 1995
Branch: U.S. Navy
Rank: Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class
Unit: Helicopter Combat Support Squadron HC-6 (now HSC-26)
Post / Base: Norfolk, Virginia
Birth: August 29, 1969
Burgoon, Ohio, USA
Death: October 3, 1995
Daniel Rex Biddle was born August 29, 1969 to parents Jerry E. and Luann Bohlmann Biddle. He grew up in the small, northwest town of Burgoon, Ohio. He was active in his schools show choir, student council association, and was a top-seeded wrestler and cross country runner. Dan enlisted in the United States Navy in 1987 and after basic training and A school, was stationed in Norfolk, VA. He was assigned to Helicopter Combat Support Squadron HC-6 (now HSC-26) where he was a Search and Rescue (SAR) Aircrewman. Dan was deployed in support of the Persian Gulf War/Operation Desert Storm (1990-1991). Dan was transferred to Point Mugu, CA in April of 1992 but returned to HC-6 in October of 1993.
He met and married Melissa Lynn Salisbury in October of 1991 and their beautiful son, Kevin Michael Biddle was born in February of 1994. They made their home in Portsmouth, Virginia. On October 3, 1995, while participating in a training exercise with the USS Guam, the United States Coast Guard requested SAR assistance for a distress call from a pleasure boat in the Atlantic Ocean. While returning to the USS Guam, the helicopter crashed and all 4 souls were lost. The crashed occurred approximately 23 nautical miles off the coast of Virginia Beach, VA.
At the time of his death, Dan, age 26, had logged 1,358.8 flight hours. In April of 2008, the Naval Aviation Schools Command dedicated a newly constructed Aviation Rescue Swimmer School in Pensacola, Florida – named after Daniel Rex Biddle. Roughly 400 students a year will attend the five-week training at The Daniel Rex Biddle Training Center Rescue Swimmer School. The facility features state-of-the-art wave generators and simulators designed to imitate the wind generated by helicopter rotors. Retired Master Chief Bud Nelson put forth Biddle's name for the facility, because, he said, Biddle was "a super Sailor." Master Chief (Retired) Nelson explained it meant a lot to the Search and Rescue community to have the name of one of their own on the school that trains them. "This is hallowed ground for us," Nelson said. "This is the big church”.
Almost 20 years have passed since Dan was taken from his family and friends. Not a day goes by that he is not loved and missed. May this Fallen Hero continue to rest in peace!