Soldier Honored: Steven Plumhoff
Branch of Service: Air Force
Air Force Major Steven Plumhoff, 33, of Neshanic Station, New Jersey, was assigned to the 58th Operations Support Squadron, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, and served during Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. On November 23, 2003, Major Plumhoff, three airmen and one soldier died in a MH-53M helicopter crash in Afghanistan.
Major Plumhoff graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1992. He began pilot training at Reese Air Force Base near Lubbock and was assigned to Kirtland in 1995 for further training. After Kirtland, Major Plumhoff served in the Air Force’s elite special operations branch, first in South Korea, then in England. In 1999, as NATO aircraft bombed Serbia to force Serb troops out of Kosovo, Major Plumhoff helped organize search-and-rescue operations that saved two U.S. pilots, including one from a downed F-117A stealth fighter jet. Major Plumhoff was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, in addition to the Air Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal.
Even in the Air Force’s elite group, colleagues said Major Plumhoff stood out. He kept himself in tip-top shape and strived to know something about almost everything. He was a top Pave (Precision Avionics Vectoring Equipment) Low pilot, computer guru and sports trivia master. Details mattered to him. No one could match the shine of his combat boots – it was his trademark. But it was his ability to do low night flights to deploy special operations troops which brought him respect from his peers.
Major Plumhoff’s son is a Folds of Honor Scholarship recipient.