US Defence department releases names of Afghanistan chopper crash victims

The 30 died on August 6 when their CH-47 Chinook helicopter crashed in an alleged Taliban attack.


Express August 11, 2011

WASHINGTON: The Department of Defense (DOD) announced today the names of the 30 dead service members who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

They died on August 6 in Wardak province when their CH-47 Chinook helicopter crashed.

The following were sailors assigned to an East Coast-based Naval Special Warfare unit:
1. Lieutenant Commander (Lt Cmdr, SEAL) Jonas B. Kelsall, 32, of Shreveport, Louisiana

2. Special Warfare Operator Master Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Louis J. Langlais, 44, of Santa Barbara, California

3. Special Warfare Operator Senior Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Thomas A. Ratzlaff, 34, of Green Forest, Arkansas

4. Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Senior Chief Petty Officer (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist) Kraig M. Vickers 36, of Kokomo, Hawaii

5. Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Brian R. Bill, 31, of Stamford, Connecticut

6. Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) John W. Faas, 31, of Minneapolis, Minnesota

7. Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Kevin A. Houston, 35, of West Hyannisport, Massachusetts

8. Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Matthew D. Mason, 37, of Kansas City

9. Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Stephen M. Mills, 35, of Fort Worth, Texas

10. Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Chief Petty Officer (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist/Diver) Nicholas H. Null, 30, of Washington, West Virginia

11. Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Robert J. Reeves, 32, of Shreveport, Louisiana

12. Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Heath M. Robinson, 34, of Detroit, Michigan

13. Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Darrik C. Benson, 28, of Angwin, California

14. Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL/Parachutist) Christopher G. Campbell, 36, of Jacksonville, North Carolina

15. Information Systems Technician Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist) Jared W. Day, 28, of Taylorsville, Utah

16. Master-at-Arms Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist) John Douangdara, 26, of South Sioux City, Nebraska

17. Cryptologist Technician (Collection) Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist) Michael J. Strange, 25, of Philadelphia

18. Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL/Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist) Jon T. Tumilson, 35, of Rockford, Iowa

19. Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Aaron C. Vaughn, 30, of Stuart, Florida

20. Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Jason R. Workman, 32, of Blanding, Utah

The following were sailors assigned to a West Coast-based Naval Special Warfare unit:

21. Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Jesse D. Pittman, 27, of Ukiah, California

22. Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 2nd Class (SEAL) Nicholas P. Spehar, 24, of Saint Paul, Minnesota

The soldiers killed were:

23. Chief Warrant Officer David R. Carter, 47, of Centennial, Colorado of the 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion)

24. Chief Warrant Officer Bryan J. Nichols, 31, of Hays, Kansas  of the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion)

25. Sgt. Patrick D. Hamburger, 30, of Lincoln, Nebraska  of the 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion)

26. Sgt. Alexander J. Bennett, 24, of Tacoma, Washington of the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion)

27. Spc. Spencer C. Duncan, 21, of Olathe, Kansas  of the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion)
The airmen killed were:
28. Tech. Sgt. John W. Brown, 33, of Tallahassee, Florida

29. Staff Sgt. Andrew W. Harvell, 26, of Long Beach, California

30. Tech. Sgt. Daniel L. Zerbe, 28, of York, Pennsylvania

Earlier the chief of the secretive US special operations command had lobbied against the release of names of American commandos killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan, officials said Tuesday.

“There were concerns expressed by the SOCOM (US Special Operations Command) commander about the safety of the members of the unit and their families and the families of the fallen,” a senior military officer told AFP.

The dead included 22 members of the elite Navy SEAL commandos and three Air Force special operators, and senior officers overseeing the Special Forces were reluctant to publicly identify the slain troops, officials said.

But officials noted that the names of dead service members are not classified as secret under US law.

(Read: US officers oppose releasing names of dead troops)

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COMMENTS (1)

antony | 9 years ago | Reply

For all the roles and post these fallen American troops had -- they looked like real gladiators before rag tag lilliputs the taliban ..But hold on these talibans some time perform as real life Ninjas -though a single shot on the chinook can be called as lucky but what about the trap they set knowing the exact route helicopter would trail . 1 taliban killed 22 Seals plus other specialists ..What a deadly blow taliban has inflicted on the mightiest of the mighty commandos -Navy Seals -- shutting the boasting mouths of american defense enterprise.

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