The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of six Marines who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Bev Perlson wrote, "Please pray for the families of these Marines. These brave warriors are in God's loving arms, I have no doubt. They served to keep Old Glory flying and keep you safe and my heart grieves for their loss but it swells with pride too, that we have such Heroes among us. My family is forever grateful for their service and sacrifice."
- Capt. Daniel B. Bartle, 27, of Ferndale, Wash.
- Capt. Nathan R. McHone, 29, of Crystal Lake, Ill.
- MSgt. Travis W. Riddick, 40, of Centerville, Iowa.
- Cpl. Jesse W. Stites, 23, of North Beach, Md.
- Cpl. Kevin J. Reinhard, 25, of Colonia, N.J.
- Cpl. Joseph D. Logan, 22, of Willis, Texas.
These Marines died January 19 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. They were assigned toMarine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 363, Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.
6 Kaneohe Marines killed in helicopter crash identified GOE
The Department of Defense identified the six Kaneohe Marines killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan Thursday.
They are: Capt. Daniel B. Bartle, 27, of Ferndale, Wash., Capt. Nathan R. McHone, 29, of Crystal Lake, Ill., Master Sgt. Travis W. Riddick, 40, of Centerville, Iowa, Cpl. Jesse W. Stites, 23, of North Beach, Md., Cpl. Kevin J. Reinhard, 25, of Colonia, N.J. and Cpl. Joseph D. Logan, 22, of Willis, Texas.
All were assigned to the Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 363, Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force at Kaneohe Bay.
Their CH-53D helicopter crashed Thursday in Afghanistan’s southern province of Helmand.
John Riddick, of Mount Pleasant, Iowa, said his son, Master Sgt. Travis Riddick, grew up in Iowa and joined the Marines after graduating from Centerville High School in 1990. John Riddick said his son served three tours in Iraq and two in Afghanistan. This was to be his last tour.
The Vietnam War-era CH-53D is the same model as a helicopter that crashed and killed a Marine in Kaneohe Bay on March 29. An investigation later revealed mechanical failure caused that accident.
Thursday’s crash was the deadliest in Afghanistan since August, when 30 American troops died after a Chinook helicopter was apparently shot down in Wardak province in the center of the country.
The cause of the latest crash is still being investigated, but a statement issued by the NATO international military coalition said there was no enemy activity in the area when it happened.
German Brig. Gen. Carsten Jacobson, a spokesman for the NATO coalition in Kabul, said officials were looking at a “technical fault” as the possible culprit.
“The helicopter is one of the safest forms of transport,” Jacobson said. He said not only does it protect troops the danger of roadside bombs on the ground, but it is well-tested, well-proven way to travel.
In 2005, the same base lost 27 Marines when a CH-53E Super Stallion deployed to Iraq crashed during a desert sandstorm. Altogether, 30 Marines and a Navy medic were killed in that crash.
CH-53D Sea Stallion helicopters were first used in the 1960s, and the Marine Corps flew them in the Vietnam War.
All Sea Stallions still used operationally are stationed at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay.The military plans to replace them with the MV-22 Osprey.