In the early morning of Dec. 12, 1985, a jetliner transporting U.S. troops crashed after take-off from Gander International Airport in Newfoundland, claiming the lives of 248 servicemen and eight crew members.
Thirty-three years later, Berkeley County road will be renamed in honor of one of those servicemen, Army Sgt. Earl Singleton, who grew up in Huger. A ceremony is set for 2 p.m. Saturday at Cainhoy Middle School.
The soon-to-be Sergeant Earl Singleton Memorial Highway is a portion of Cainhoy Road in Berkeley County, between S.C. Highway 41 and the school.
A bill paving the way for the designation was introduced by Rep. Joseph Jefferson, D-Pineville. It passed in March.
The jetliner carrying Singleton and his fellow servicemen had stopped to refuel in Gander on its way from Cairo to Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The servicemen, most of them members of the Army's 101st Airborne Division, had been involved in peacekeeping activities in the Sinai Peninsula.
"It was something that just stayed with me," Charleston NAACP President Dot Scott said. "We often are naming roads after living people, elected officials and I’m just saying, the ultimate sacrifice these military guys (made). Maybe we need to be naming more roads after fallen officers, you know, law enforcement."
Scott said she reached out to Jefferson with the intention of getting Singleton's service recognized. Her motivation came from a desire to find lesser-known, local African-American people who could be recognized during Black History Month. She and Singleton happen to share a great-grandfather, but she said this didn't factor into the effort.