Four Marines killed in CH-53E crash
- Author: Santos West Apr 06, 2018,
Apr 06, 2018, 1:50
On April 4, 2017 at the same base, a Super Stallion from the Miramar-based "Flying Tigers" of Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361 did a "CFIT" - controlled flight into terrain - while performing defensive maneuvers.
According to information provided by the Marine Corps, the fallen troops had a range of military and combat experience. "Our priority is to provide support for our families and HMH-465 during this critical time". He joined the Marine Corps in May 2012.
First Lt. Samuel D. Phillips, 27, of Pinehurst, N.C., was a pilot assigned to HMH-465.
Practicing desert landings is a routine part of training, said Capt. Morgan Frazer with the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. "They each served honorably, wore the uniform proudly and were a ideal example of what makes our Marine Corps great - its people". A CH-53 crew chief, he joined the Marines in November 2003 and had twice deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The Marine Corps will take custody of the bodies to conduct autopsies, he said.
Since late 2016, there have been two other major Marine CH-53 accidents. He had no personal awards and had not deployed. Col. Craig Leflore, a commanding officer, says "these "warhorse" Marines brought joy and laughter to so many around them", and they will never be forgotten. "They each served honorably, wore the uniform proudly and were a ideal example of what makes our Marine Corps great". "They will forever be in our hearts and minds".
The cause of the crash is still being investigated and the identity of the crew members is being withheld for 24 hours until their family are notified.
The CH-53E Super Stallion crashed about 100 miles (160 kilometers) to the south in a remote desert area just outside of El Centro, near the U.S. -Mexico border.