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Five Marines killed in Southern California helicopter crash are identified


The Marine Corps on Friday released the names of the five men killed when their helicopter crashed in the Cuyamaca Mountains during a severe storm Tuesday.

All five were based at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar as members of a heavy helicopter squadron with the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. Their plane, a Sikorski CH-53E Super Stallion, was also involved in a fatal crash in Southern California six years ago that claimed the lives of four people.

According to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, the Marines killed in Tuesday’s crash were:

  • Lance Cpl. Donovan Davis, 21, of Olathe, Kan., CH-53E helicopter crew chief
  • Sgt. Alec Langen, 23, of Chandler, Arizona, CH-53E helicopter crew chief
  • Captain Benjamin Moulton, 27, of Emmett, Idaho, CH-53E helicopter pilot
  • Captain Jack Casey, 26, of Dover, NH, CH-53E helicopter pilot
  • Captain Miguel Nava, 28, of Traverse City, Michigan, CH-53E helicopter pilot

The helicopter crashed near Pine Valley, a mountain community an hour’s drive from San Diego. The group was returning from a routine training mission to Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, Nevada, northwest of Las Vegas.

At the time, visibility was poor because of snow, rain and gusty winds, according to meteorologist Philip Gonsalves of the National Weather Service in San Diego. Investigators with the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing are still trying to determine what factor, if any, weather played in the crash.

“We have been faced with a tragedy that is every military family’s worst fear,” Lt. Col. Nicholas J. Harvey, commanding officer of Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361, said in a statement. “Our top priority now is to support the families of our fallen heroes, and we ask for your respect and understanding as they grieve. »

Davis was just promoted to lance corporal on January 1, after enlisting in the Marine Corps in September 2019. His decorations include the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and a maritime service deployment ribbon.

Langen has served as a sergeant since October 2022, after enlisting in the Marine Corps in September 2017. His decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Army Service Medal global war on terrorism, the National Defense Service Medal and two maritime service deployments. Ribbons.

Moulton was commissioned into the Marines in March 2019 and was promoted to captain in August. His decorations include the National Defense Service Medal.

Casey was promoted to captain in September, after being commissioned into the Marine Corps in May 2019. His decorations include the National Defense Service Medal.

Nava had been captain since November 2021; he was commissioned into the Marines in May 2017. His decorations include the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and the Marine Service Deployment Ribbon.



Note: The content and images used in this article is rewritten and sourced from www.latimes.com

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