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Fallen Heroes Details

In Memory Of
John Libolt
Costa Mesa Police Department, CA
End of watch: 1987-03-10
Aircraft: MD500E
Officer John Libolt and Officer David Ketchum were killed in a mid-air collision with a Newport Beach Police helicopter.

In a double funeral that drew an estimated 1,150 uniformed officers, Costa Mesa Police Chief David Snowden said the call signal Eagle II will be retired in honor of fallen pilots James David "Dave" Ketchum and John W. "Mike" Libolt.

The retirement will leave a numerical gap in Costa Mesa's helicopter division - a reminder of the void left by the two deaths. "They died making Costa Mesa a safer place to be, "Snowden said his voice faltering with emotion. "As they would have wished, we'll continue to patrol the skies of our city."

About 3,500 mourners - including federal, state and local law enforcement officers from San Francisco to Calexico - crowded the main hall and three overflow rooms at Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa.

Ketchum and Libolt, both 15-year veterans, are the first Costa Mesa police officers killed in the line of duty in the department's 33-year history.

As part of the memorial service, the crowd moved into the chapel courtyard where police helicopters from throughout the county flew overhead in a V-formation, with gaps left for the missing pilots.

Libolt was survived by his fiance Wilson, son David, 19, daughter Katy, 15, four sisters and his father.

Thoughts and Memories of John Libolt

Mike's sister, Janet, followed him in death in 1991, his father in 1999. I'm sure he was there to meet them. Mike, you are missed every day. Chris has followed in your and Jerry's footsteps and is a Police Officer in La Verne. He is very much like you. Keep the faith and we'll all see you again one day. Love, your sister Joyce.
Joyce Libolt-McGregor
Been 20 years now. Does not seem that long ago. We will always remember. Mike would have been 60 this year...
Jerry Holloway


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