Five US Marines killed in helicopter crash identified

San Diego, California - The US Marine Corps on Friday publicly identified five San Diego-based service members who were killed when their helicopter crashed in eastern San Diego County this week.

Five members of the US Marine Corps were killed in a helicopter crash on Tuesday.
Five members of the US Marine Corps were killed in a helicopter crash on Tuesday.  © IMAGO / piemags

The three pilots and two air chiefs aboard the CH-53E Super Stallion were all in their 20s and had spent roughly five to seven years in the Corps.

The crew was conducting routine flight training – flying from Creech Air Force Base just outside Las Vegas to the Miramar base – when the helicopter crashed during a winter storm late Tuesday.

The wreckage was found near Pine Valley the following morning.

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Efforts to recover the Marines' remains and the wreckage in difficult terrain continued Thursday amid challenging weather conditions. The crash is under investigation.

The Marines were assigned to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361, Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.

"We have been confronted with a tragedy that is every service family's worst fear," Lieutenant Colonel Nicholas J. Harvey, the squadron's commanding officer, said in a statement on Friday.

"The Flying Tigers family stands strong and includes the friends and community who have supported our squadron during this challenging time," he added. "We will get through this together."

Cover photo: IMAGO / piemags

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