Ex Brim Frost ’89

It was fourteen years ago, Wednesday night. I remember Cpl McGinnis, Cpl Allen, MCpl Mackinnon, and WO Arsenault well. We must of spent eight hours lying around the nose dock at Edmonton waiting for the planes to take off that day….the usual routine. MBdr Smith and Cpl Wright were with me from E Battery Para.

I put MBdr Smith and Cpl Wright on the plane that day and was travelling on the plane right behind them. I was GPO in charge of the mounting, deployment and tasks for E Battery Para. Dave Chupick (BC E) wanted me to go in on the air landing so I could supervise the deployment of equipment before the jump later the next morning.

Smith wasn’t suppose to be on the flight. It was supposed to be MBdr Jeff Elliott but Smith was feeling too ill to jump so I told him to air land with me on the advance party and had Elliott jump-in instead. At the time it didn’t seem to make a big deal on which plane guys were to go. I guess this is the reason for cross loading chalks…at least one of us walked away that day.

It’s been fourteen years…but I remember it like yesterday.


Bud Walsh (Major, retired)
formerly Gun Position Officer, E Battery Para

Thales Systems Canada
49 Auriga Drive,
K2E 8A1

25 Responses to “Ex Brim Frost ’89”

  1. on 24 Aug 2007 at 10:03 amCpl Bradley R. (TAMS)

    WO Arsenault was in supply ?? Thats where I remember him. Went for a remember when visit back to CFB Trenton last week 22 hanger while on vacation. Wish that i hadn’t. Just about everything i held dear has been changed. No more 22 hanger-remember those days when the guns would comw down to us and you guys would prep them for air drop. Must confess the E (She) battery guys knew their stuff reff rigging the guns. TAMS pers got a free ride on TALEX Ex when you guys came to town. Do you remember Gunner Damerin. Attached Posted to TAMS in ’82-87 ?? Trenton 22 hanger ?? All 4 now. Drinking too much beer to type ! Hope this gets to U though> Plus am having trouble connecting with other ABCDO Pers. My penmanship is better than my computer skills. Cheers Sir. Thanks.PS Web site address might be my blackberry address??

  2. on 29 Mar 2011 at 7:32 amSPC Donald Isenberg

    I was an Infantry soldier with 4/9 Inf., 6 th Inf. Div. at Ft. Wainwright during Operation Brim Frost in 1989.

    I still remember clearly the tragedy that stuck that day. I do recognize the names although I never knew them. Were you with the Airborne Regt. from CFB Petawawa as well ?

    Some of the surviving Canadian advance party members stayed with us in our billets following the crash and maybe we crossed paths once ? I am guessing that you were on the 3rd plane that was diverted to the airport in town ? I remember those that stayed with us as being some of the nicest and most professional soldiers I’ve ever met. They handled the situation extremely well. It was such a terrible loss and greatly impacted the excercise. All of our thoughts were with those lost throughout the exercise and well after.

    I hope their families and those of you that survived are doing well today.

  3. on 11 Nov 2011 at 5:40 pmKelli Arsenault

    Hello! My name is Kelli Arsenault, I am the daughter of WO Keith Arsenault. I was 5 years old when he passed away. In year 2000 my brother, mother and I had the honor of cutting the ribbon to open the Field two Ambulance building in Petawawa that was named after my father. Those that survived I hope those men went on to love and cherish their families. I think about my father everyday. Take care

  4. on 12 Aug 2012 at 10:29 pmdavid saunders

    I was a medical officer at CFB Halifax (stadacona) 1985 to 1988 and I worked with Keith. his death was a shock to me. he was a kind and pleasant man, and a good medic.

  5. on 18 Oct 2012 at 6:09 pmKevin Mackinnon

    MCpl Mackinnon was my brother. He was an amazing brother, and I was left in a state of shock when I received that call, in the middle of the night. My world was forever changed. He was a great father, husband and brother. Rarely a day goes by, that I do not think of him and his love for his beloved Airborne!

  6. on 06 Dec 2012 at 12:30 amHeidi Heber

    i am looking for information on one of the victims of the crash. unfortunately, i only have sketchy information.

    my honey-baby-kissy-face was with the US Army 6th ID. he was directly (as in on the runway) involved in the rescue operation.

    as he described to me (through the tears), he was on the runway immediately after the crash, searching for survivors. he found one that had been flung a moderate amount away from the plane, a gentleman whose leg had been amputated. he managed to unstick the stump from the runway and get the gentleman to the medics. he later found that this man had died after his efforts. he still has nightmares and severe ptsd episodes from this event.

    i’m hoping to find some more information, like the name of the gentleman he tried to save and any family members to whom he could apologize, to receive some closure to this.

    is there anyone here or someplace that i can be referred to to find this information?

    Heidi Heber

    thank you.

  7. on 09 Jan 2013 at 10:47 pmEddie

    I was a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division at one point, but on January 29, 1989 I was stationed with the 6th Infantry Division in Fort Wainwright, Alaska and I was participating in the Brim Frost field exercise. I was very close to the crash site, maybe 200 ft as we were right between the metal bridges behind the golf course and the place where the airfield approach light were located right across the river.

    At first we thought the plane crash in our side of the river as the plane hit the approach lights coming in and barely miss us, we went to check and there was debris everywhere. But that is when we realized that the plane actually hit the river bank in the opposite side of the river and landed between the river bank and the end of the airfield.

    We went around the little metal bridge and arrive before the emergency crew got there. It was an awful sight and we did everything we could humanly do, but it was so cold. Unfortunately some of these fellow soldiers were instantly stuck to the ground. I will never forget that day.

  8. on 16 Jan 2013 at 6:45 pmBud Walsh

    As the anniversary approaches….I take time to remember.

    I was there. I remember.

    Bud Walsh

    Formerly Lt, Gun Position Officer, E Bty Para

    Contact me. Budwalsh@bell.net

  9. on 18 Jan 2014 at 4:29 amJoe Stewart

    I was there in 1989 assigned to 5/11 FA, 6 ID in Ft Wainwright, AK. I remember the crash as well, I will never forget that day I lost my military brothers.

    Former PFC gunner w/ B Co.

    Joe Stewart
    SGM, USA
    2ID Surgeon Sergeant Major

  10. on 27 Jan 2014 at 11:35 amBrian Papineau-Couture

    My father, MCpl Mark Papineau-Couture, was one of the Loadmasters on the C-130. He survived the impact, but his head injuries were too severe and he passed away 4 days later. I was 17 at the time and the impact that his passing had on my life was and is beyond words. I did finally get the full report from the military so any questions I had as to what happened were finally answered.

    As January 29th approaches, this will be the 25th Anniversary of that terrible event, and I always take time to remember all who were affected. I think of the crew that lost their lives, the ones that survived but live with the scars, and I think of the US Military men and women who were there to do everything they could to help. Thank you to those service men and women.


  11. on 31 Jan 2014 at 8:17 pmBud Walsh

    I was there…25 years ago. I remember every day.

    God bless.



  12. on 09 May 2014 at 12:22 pmKevin Mackinnon

    As I listen to the news of another exercise in Wainwright, AK….it brings me back to that horrible night. Thanks to all those who tried their best to help after the crash, to all the friends, families and military brethren, our loved ones may be gone, but they are not forgotten!

  13. on 09 Jul 2014 at 3:28 amray belanger

    I was part of original Airborne TAMS Unit in 1977 at 22 hgr. Along with Ted Baker, Paul Dostie, Richard Lauzon, Chuck Coutts and Rick Bostock. We worked our asses off there for 3 years. I was in Edm with Airborne TAMS prior to moving to Trenton.

  14. on 17 Oct 2014 at 12:36 amCorey Reynolds

    I was with A Co 2/17th INF on Kodiak during Brim Frost ’89. We heard about the crash shortly after it happened. We were all stunned by the news. I think I have never known a bunch of ‘troopers who did as much praying as we did the next few hours/days. There wasn’t much else we could do, we were too busy trying to survive ourselves, we were on top of a mountain and it was nearly 80 below with some of the fiercest winds I ever saw in Alaska.
    I never forgot though. I never forgot the men who died on this exercise or their families who waited, in vain, for them to come home.
    God bless.

  15. on 01 Jan 2015 at 12:40 amElizabeth Mackinnon

    Hi, MCpl Mackinnon was my father. I was only 3 when he died. I think about him everyday and miss him all the time. I have alot of unanswered questions about that day.

  16. on 29 Jan 2015 at 4:59 pmBud Walsh

    26 Years ago today. I remember. I was there.

    God bless.



  17. on 14 Mar 2015 at 7:12 amArthur Cromarty

    I was new to the 6th ID, 17 years old with alpha 6th signal under Sgm. Parham. I remember the crash and that being the coldest weather I’ve ever experienced in life. So cold it was painful.. 45 days we were out there

  18. on 30 Jan 2016 at 2:35 pmDave Lavery

    EX Brim Frost 29 Jan 89 know it all too well one of the coldest exercise -55 Celsius without wind-chill, it was Dave Hirter and I that was on the ground setting up the drop zone at the time of that horrible crash, we were then responsible for the duty of care in bringing our boys home, I will always remember that night, may they all rest in peace….Airborne

  19. on 06 Jul 2016 at 4:20 amJoe Vandorpe

    I vividly remember this horrible day because I was with the rear party back in Petawawa with the Regiment.
    I was the duty driver and I am fairly certain Sgt Carrol? (also on duty) took the fateful phone call regarding the important details. (names of deceased)
    Somehow I heard Paul’s whispered name near the end of that conversation & I had a terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach.
    The next four days was a flurry of activity that I would never wish on anybody.

    God Bless everyone impacted by the events of 29 Jan 1989.

    (I tried to find Paul’s brother & sister, in Woodstock ON, April 2002 but was very sadly unsuccessful)

  20. on 28 Jan 2019 at 8:58 amMatthew Dinwiddie

    I was with the 706th Mn Bn, 6th ID. It’s hard to believe it’s been 30 years. I can still hear the sounds of that day.. 🙁 Finding this post, where family members and friends of the Canadians who lost their lives that day brought it back even more. RIP

  21. on 11 Feb 2020 at 6:28 pmGail McGinnis

    I would love to talk about this plane crash and my Brother Paul McGinnis if you know anymore details about the crash. gailmcginnis607@gmail.com

  22. on 11 Feb 2020 at 6:31 pmGail McGinnis

    I would love to talk about this plane crash and my Brother Paul McGinnis if you know anymore details about the crash. gailmcginnis607@gmail.com if anyone knew my Brother or Joe Velorpe please let him know I am looking for him.

  23. on 30 Sep 2020 at 4:10 pmJeff Elliott

    I remember that day very well, I was supposed to be in smitys seat. If it wasn’t for him being ill it could have been me. I was very fortunate and he was not.
    I think about how things could have been so different for both of our family’s. RIP Smity

  24. on 29 Jan 2021 at 9:15 pmRebecca MacKinnon

    I’m the daughter of John MacKinnon who lost his life from this plane crash. I would personally like to thank everyone who was there and helped. If you were please email me, if you knew my father please email me as well. Rebeccam23@hotmail.com

  25. on 31 Jul 2021 at 8:38 pmwilliam arlow daniels

    I was there and it was horrible ! the troops for the Canadians, who lost there live was horrible ! That exercise scared my very soul ! It will always be a part of me ! Really sorry for everyone’s loss and pain ! They were my brothers at Arms and they are my commrads ! All I got to say, is I will meet them in Heaven! US Army William Daniels ! email aktech2003@yahoo.com

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