Florida veteran among Americans killed in plane crash fighting Australia wildfires

A 43-year father from Florida has been identified as one of the three Americans killed when the aerial water tanker they were in crashed while battling wildfires in Australia

Rick DeMorgan Jr. served in the United States Air Force for 18 years as a flight engineer on the C-130, according to his employer Coulson Aviation. He had over 4,000 hours as a flight engineer with nearly 2,000 in a combat zone.

DeMorgan Jr. leaves behind two kids. 

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"Rick's passion was always flying and his children," Coulson wrote in a Facebook post. 

Capt. Ian H. McBeth of Montana and First Officer Paul Clyde Hudson of Arizona were also killed in the crash.

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirmed the deaths in the state's Snowy Monaro region, which came as Australia grapples with an unprecedented fire season that has left a large swath of destruction. 

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