SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — The man shown in one of the most recognized photos of the 1989 United Flight 232 disaster in Sioux City, has passed away.
Former Lieutenant Colonel Dennis Nielsen of the Iowa Air National Guard died at a hospital in Middlesex, North Carolina on September 23rd. He was 76 years old.
On July 19th, 1989, Nielsen, a member of Sioux City’s 185th Air Refueling Wing was one of those rushing to rescue survivors from the United crash.
A photograph, taken by Sioux City Journal Photographer Gary Anderson showing him carrying an unconscious 3-year-old named Spencer Bailey to medical responders was shared around the world and later made into a sculpture. Today it is the centerpiece of the Flight 232 Memorial on the Riverfront.
Gary Brown, the former Woodbury County Emergency Services Director, confirmed the news to KCAU 9, telling us that Nielsen was a great friend and patriot and will be missed by many in the Siouxland community.
Funeral arrangements are still pending, but Brown says there are discussions of Nielsen being buried at Arlington National Cemetery.