A mentor, father and husband: Helicopter crash victim Daniel Wadham remembered as a

A mentor, father and husband: Helicopter crash victim Daniel Wadham remembered as a


Correction: A previous version of story incorrectly identified Wadham as being a member of the Air National Guard. Wadham was a member of Tennessee National Guard.

He was a humble, loving man, the type that wanted to fix things for loved ones.

Daniel Wadham, 39, was also stubborn, strong willed. But knew what he wanted in life. His wife, Rosetta, and their two children.

Wadham was one of two Tennessee National Guardsmen involved in a fatal helicopter crash in Madison County, Alabama, outside of Huntsville. Wadham, of Joelton, served 15 years of service and was a chief warrant officer 3 in the Tennessee National Guard. He was assigned to A Company, 1-230th Assault Helicopter Battalion, from Nashville’s Berry Field Air National Guard Base.

“I want people to remember him as a good man, he was amazing and kind and sweet,” his wife said.

A good man

Daniel and Rosetta met at church when he moved from Houston to Tennessee. They began dating in 2012 and married in August 2021.

He leaves behind two children: Lilly, 13, and Scarlett, 6.

More:What we know about the Tennessee National Guard helicopter crash in Alabama

Rosetta Wadham, who is also in the military, knew her husband was supposed to be home after a training mission. He never returned. She drove to his unit to discover he died in the crash.

“He enlisted me into the Army,” Rosetta Wadham said. “We had been together for several years and since he was an officer, he was able to do a private enlistment ceremony and he swore me in.”

The two were in the same battalion, but not same unit. Rosetta was in E Company 1-230.

‘Seems like a bad dream’: Black Hawk pilot Danny Randolph remembered for love of service

Serving with him was amazing, she said. After all, he accomplished anything he set his mind to and was inspirational to be around.

“I always looked up to him and he helped me so much in finding my feet as a leader,” she said. “He is the one that has encouraged me to do so many things I never thought I’d be able to do. He picked me up when I was down and he kept me moving when I thought I’d have to quit.”

A mentor to new pilots

At the time of the crash, the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter carrying Daniel Wadham and Danny Randolph approached Huntsville Executive Airport when the aircraft rapidly descended and impacted the ground along Highway 53 in Alabama’s Madison County.

No other service members or civilians were harmed in the crash.

“He was an amazing mentor to the new pilots even if he didn’t think he was,” Rosetta Wadham said. “There aren’t enough words to describe the truly amazing type of person be was.”

Gov. Bill Lee said the Tennessee National Guard will support law enforcement at the scene.

“Maria and I are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of two Tennessee National Guard members. Please join us in lifting their families up in prayer and support during this time of unspeakable grief.”

Reporter Rachel Wegner contributed to this story.

Reach reporter Craig Shoup by email at cshoup@gannett.com and on Twitter @Craig_Shoup. To support his work, sign up for a digital subscription to www.tennessean.com.