A Buckeye man was among the three U.S. firefighters killed in a plane crash while fighting to extinguish the wildfires ravaging the Australian wilderness on Thursday.
First Officer Paul Clyde Hudson, 42, was killed when the C-130 Hercules aerial water tanker he was riding in crashed.
Coulson Aviation, a private company based in Port Alberni, British Columbia, Canada, and has a presence in Oregon, confirmed Hudson's death in a media release posted on Facebook Thursday evening.
The plane had departed from Richmond, New South Wales, for a firebombing mission around the Snowy Monaro area.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
The release said Hudson graduated from the Naval Academy in 1999 and served 20 years in the U.S. Marine Corps that included being a C-130 pilot. He retired at the rank of lieutenant colonel and was awarded a number of decorations during his military career.