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Fallen Heroes Details

In Memory Of
David Ketchum
Costa Mesa Police Department, CA
End of watch: 1987-03-10
Aircraft: MD500E
Officer David Ketchum and Officer Libolt 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.

Ketchum leaves his wife Meg and two daughters, Hilary, 13, and Penny, 12.

Thoughts and Memories of David Ketchum

I miss you every day and appriciate all you did so that we could have a happy quality life. I have very happy childhood memories which built a good foundation for the rest of my life.

Love, Penny
Penny Ketchum


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