Copter Crash Victims Mourned

The service was over. An honor guard had fired three volleys. Taps had sounded. Then came a final salute to state trooper Paul Perry.

As hundreds of police officers stood at attention outside a Salem church on Saturday, a lone state police helicopter slowly flew past to honor the fallen pilot.

The scene was repeated later in the day at a Milton cemetery after the funeral of trooper James Mattaliano, 33, of Sandwich.

The two members of the Massachusetts State Police Air Wing were killed Wednesday when the same model helicopter crashed into the Harvard Yacht Club and Sailing Center on the Charles River in Cambridge.

Also killed were two AT&T engineers who had hitched a ride, Arthur T. Howell, 47, of Malden, and Michael McCarthy, 46 of Weymouth. They, too, were mourned in separate funerals Saturday.


More than 750 police officers from all around New England and as far away as Indiana attended services for Perry, 39, of Salem, at St. Joseph's Church.

The fly-over by the French-made Aerospatiale AS350-B capped a funeral in which Perry, a law school graduate and former Eagle Scout, Was remembered for his love of family, flying and police work.

Friends said Perry was so intent on joining the Air Wing that he paid for his own flying lessons and waited years for the job.

"He led a rich life. It should not have been so short," Gov. William Weld told mourners. "Trooper Perry was one of the best."

Perry leaves his wife, Carol, and two young sons. As Carol Perry left the church, she was handed an American flag and his uniform cap.

An escort of 75 motorcycles led the funeral procession, followed by an honor guard and a riderless horse.

At St. Elizabeth's Church in Milton, about 1,300 mourners filled the sanctuary and a basement recreational hall to hear services for Mattaliano.

Capt. Gerard Walsh, a state police chaplain, said in the eulogy that Mattaliano would be missed by his colleagues, and talked about his "fairy tale" marriage with his wife, Jennifer, also astate trooper.

"Jimmy loved his work as a trooper. He achievedhis dream of becoming a pilot. He was so dedicatedand very serious about his responsibilities,"Walsh said. "He was always interested inperfecting his skills and obtaining the maximumlevel expected of him as a pilot."

The fly-over coincided with a public burial atMilton Cemetery. His pall bearers included fivestate troopers and two friends since childhood.

Also Saturday morning, about 700 peopleattended a funeral for Howell, a 29-year AT&Tveteran, at St. Brigid's Church in South Boston.Hundreds of AT&T employees in company cars andvans attended the service.