Honored Dead – Public Safety

     

Listed here are men from the Klamath Basin who died while serving as peace officers or firefighters.

  

Childers, Fred
Oct. 4, 1965, Klamath County

   Liston was killed Oct. 4, 1965, in the crash of a Navy PBY bomber that had been converted to an air tanker. The plane crashed while returning to Klamath Falls from a forest fire.

 

Clodfelter, Bret R.
Sept. 30, 1992, Klamath Falls

   Oregon State Police Senior Trooper Clodfelter was shot and killed Sept. 30, 1992, by Francisco Manzo-Hernandez. Clodfelter was giving Manzo-Hernandez a ride in his police cruiser after a routine traffic stop involving another person.

Manzo-Hernandez was sentenced to life in prison in February 1995.

Clodfelter was survived by a wife and daughter.

 

Daw, Clifford
Sept. 10, 1959, near Chiloquin

   Daw was an employee of the state highway department who joined the effort to control the Cave Mountain forest fire, which burned 14,000 acres of timber north of Chiloquin in September 1959. Several firefighters were overtaken by flames on Sept. 10, 1959. Daw was the only one who failed to escape.

   His body was found two days later. He was 32 at the time, and was not married. He had been living in Chiloquin with his grandmother.

 

Lambert, John W.
Aug. 7, 1911, Fort Klamath

   Police officer John Lambert died Aug. 7, 1911, as the result of a disturbance in a saloon in the town of Fort Klamath. He was buried in Ukiah, Calif.

 

Liston, Les
Oct. 4, 1965, Klamath County

   Liston was killed Oct. 4, 1965, in the crash of a Navy PBY bomber that had been converted to an air tanker. The plan crashed while returning to Klamath Falls from a forest fire.

 

Lyons, Scott Alan
Sept. 2, 1997, Northern Klamath County

   Oregon State Police Trooper Lyons died in a traffic accident while on duty in northern Klamath County on Sept. 2, 1997. A native of Bend, Ore., he was 23 years old.

 

Martin, Leonard
Oct. 1, 1992, Eldorado National Forest, Calif.

   Martin was the first officer of Air Tanker 61, based at the forest firefighting dispatch center at Kingsley Field. He was killed Oct. 1, 1992, when Tanker 61 crashed during firefighting operations on the Eldorado National Forest in California.

 

Lewis, J.F.
March 11, 1882, Lake County Sheriff’s Deputy

   Lewis died March 11, 1882, while guarding a prisoner at a hotel in Linkville (later renamed Klamath Falls). Lewis was killed in a shootout with a group of men who approached the hotel with plans to lynch the prisoner. The incident occurred before Klamath County had been separated from Lake County.

 

Martin, Ben
May 9, 1921, Dorris

   Martin was employed by the federal government as an engineer at the Klamath Indian Agency when he was recruited to assist in a search on the evening of May 6, 1921, for an illegal moonshine still near Bray in Siskiyou County, Calif. He participated in the search with the agency superintendent and the Klamath County sheriff. He borrowed a sidearm from a fireman in Klamath Falls before going on the raid.

   During the search Martin stumbled and the revolver fell from its holster, struck a rock and discharged. The bullet struck Martin in the shoulder. He was taken to a hospital in Dorris, where he died three days later. He had lived in Klamath County for four years before the incident.

 

Nichols, Paul
July 23, 1964, Klamath Falls

   Nichols was one of two men killed in the crash of a Piper Cub airplane in Klamath Falls on July 23, 1964. He was employed by the Klamath Forest Protective Association.  The crash occurred during a demonstration flight conducted by the firefighting agency.

 

Rector, James D.
Sept. 2, 1997, Northern Klamath County

   Oregon State Police Sgt. Rector died in a traffic accident while on duty in northern Klamath County on Sept. 2, 1997. He was 46 years old, and was based in the OSP’s Gilchrist outpost. Rector was a Vietnam veteran, and was a 24-year veteran of the Oregon State Police. He held the Oregon Police Officer Medal of Honor for his involvement in a shooting. He was survived by a wife and two sons.

 

Sasstedt, Delbert
July 23, 1964, Klamath Falls

   Sasstedt was one of two men killed in the crash of a Piper Cub airplane in Klamath Falls on July 23, 1964. He was employed by the Klamath Forest Protective Association.  The crash occurred during a demonstration flight conducted by the firefighting agency.

 

Sheridan, Charles
Oct. 1, 1992, Eldorado National Forest, Calif.

   Charles Sheridan was the pilot of Air Tanker 61, based at the forest firefighting dispatch center at Kingsley Field. He was killed Oct. 1, 1992, when Tanker 61 crashed during firefighting operations on the Eldorado National Forest in California.

 

Swan, Richard C.
Nov. 16, 1988, Klamath Falls

   Sgt. Richard Swan of the Klamath Falls Police Department died after being struck by a vehicle while investigating an accident at South Sixth and Radcliff streets. An investigation showed darkness likely contributed to the accident.

   Born in Medford in 1944, Swan graduated from Medford High School before serving four years in the Navy. He was a 21-year veteran of the Klamath Falls Police Department.

   Swan was survived by two sons, a daughter and his parents. He was buried at Eternal Hills Memorial Gardens.

 

Weston, Wesley
Sept. 7, 1955

   Wesley Weston was a logger living with his family in Bly when he went to assist in fighting the Round Butte fire 12 miles east of Bly. Weston was operating a tractor when he was overtaken by flames. He was survived by four children.