Rocky Payne, a member of the 497th Transportation Company based out of Fort Lewis, WA, was killed Wednesday, March 16, by an explosion targeting a mail convoy.
The Department of Defense has yet to release details of the attack. The Salt Lake Tribune reported that Payne’s brother, Randall, said the family knew little about the attack that killed Payne. The brother told the paper that an improvised explosive device had detonated, killing Payne.
However, Land Line has confirmed Payne was killed in an attack on one of the “Iron Pony Express” mail convoys. Civilian truckers, many of whom are OOIDA members, were able to escape the attack uninjured thanks to the efforts of the 497th Transportation Company.
Payne, a Utah native, had previously served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps and had enlisted in the Army a little over a year ago, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
The article in the Utah paper told of the 26-year-old soldier’s love for military trucks and tanks that started as a small child. The youngest of five boys, Payne is remembered by his brother as a prankster – and by members of the Iron Pony Express as a treasured friend.