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USMC/COMBAT HELICOPTER ASSOCIATION - KIA DATABASE
USMC/COMBAT HELICOPTER ASSOCIATION
Brothers (& Sisters) Killed in Action in USMC Helicopters or while assigned to USMC Helicopter Squadrons in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM



050126   HMH-361     Operation IRAQI FREEDOM

Incident Date 050126 HMH-361 CH-53E - BuNo 164536+ - incident not yet classified - near Ar Rutbah, Iraq

[CREW]
Alaniz, Paul C. Capt Co-Pilot HMH-361 MAG-16/3rd MAW 050126
Gordon, Lyle L. Capt Pilot HMH-361 MAG-16/3rd MAW 050126
Hernandez, Tony L. Cpl Crew HMH-361 MAG-16/3rd MAW 050126
Kimble, Dexter S. SSgt Crew HMH-361 MAG-16/3rd MAW 050126

[PASSENGERS]
Bland, Brian D. SSgt Passenger 1/3/3rdMarDiv/III MEF 050126
Etterling, Jonathan E. LCpl Passenger 1/3/3rdMarDiv/III MEF 050126
Finke Jr., Michael W. Sgt Passenger 1/3/3rdMarDiv/III MEF 050126
Fuller, Travis J. 1stLt Passenger 1/3/3rdMarDiv/III MEF 050126
Gibson, Timothy M. Cpl Passenger 1/3/3rdMarDiv/III MEF 050126
Gilbert, Richard A. Cpl Passenger 1/3/3rdMarDiv/III MEF 050126
Grimes, Kyle J. Cpl Passenger 1/3/3rdMarDiv/III MEF 050126
Hopper, Bryan C. LCpl Passenger 1/3/3rdMarDiv/III MEF 050126
House, John D. HM3 Corpsman-Pass 1/3/3rdMarDiv/III MEF 050126
Jafarkhani-Torshizi Jr., Saeed LCpl Passenger 1/3/3rdMarDiv/III MEF 050126
Johnson, Stephen P. Cpl Passenger 1/3/3rdMarDiv/III MEF 050126
Kelly, Sean P. Cpl Passenger 1/3/3rdMarDiv/III MEF 050126
Klein, Allan LCpl Passenger 1/3/3rdMarDiv/III MEF 050126
Knight, Timothy A. Cpl Passenger 1/3/3rdMarDiv/III MEF 050126
Maciel, Fred L. LCpl Passenger 1/3/3rdMarDiv/III MEF 050126
Moore, James L. Cpl Passenger 1/3/3rdMarDiv/III MEF 050126
Moore, Nathaniel K. Cpl Passenger 1/3/3rdMarDiv/III MEF 050126
Ragimov, Mourad LCpl Passenger 1/3/3rdMarDiv/III MEF 050126
Rairdan, Rhonald D. LCpl Passenger 1/3/3rdMarDiv/III MEF 050126
Ramos, Hector LCpl Passenger 1/3/3rdMarDiv/III MEF 050126
Saintvil, Gael LCpl Passenger 1/3/3rdMarDiv/III MEF 050126
Schubert, Nathan A. Cpl Passenger 1/3/3rdMarDiv/III MEF 050126
Schumann, Darrell J. LCpl Passenger 1/3/3rdMarDiv/III MEF 050126
Shumney, Dustin M. 1stLt Passenger 1/3/3rdMarDiv/III MEF 050126
Smith, Matthew R. Cpl Passenger 1/3/3rdMarDiv/III MEF 050126
Spence, Joseph B. LCpl Passenger 1/3/3rdMarDiv/III MEF 050126
Starr Jr., Michael L. LCpl Passenger 1/3/3rdMarDiv/III MEF 050126


ALANIZ, PAUL C. : CAPT : O3 : MOS : 32 : CORPUS CHRISTI : TX : 20050126 : near Ar Rutbah, Iraq

BLAND, BRIAN D. : SSGT : E6 : MOS : 26 : WESTON : WY : 20050126 : near Ar Rutbah, Iraq

ETTERLING, JONATHAN E. : LCPL : E3 : MOS : 22 : WHEELERSBURG : OH : 20050126 : CH-53E helicopter crash near Ar Rutbah, Iraq

FINKE JR, MICHAEL W. : SGT : E5 : MOS : 28 : HURON : OH : 20050126 : near Ar Rutbah, Iraq

FULLER, TRAVIS J. : 1stLT : O2 : MOS : 26 : GRANVILLE : MA : 20050126 : near Ar Rutbah, Iraq

GIBSON, TIMOTHY M. : CPL : E4 : MOS : 23 : HILLSBOROUGH : NH : 20050126 : near Ar Rutbah, Iraq

GILBERT, RICHARD A. : CPL : E4 : MOS : 26 : MONTGOMERY : OH : 20050126 : near Ar Rutbah, Iraq

GORDON, LYLE L. : CAPT : O3 : MOS : 30 : MIDLOTHIAN : TX : 20050126 : near Ar Rutbah, Iraq

GRIMES, KYLE J. : CPL : E4 : MOS : 21 : NORTHAMPTON : PA : 20050126 : near Ar Rutbah, Iraq

HERNANDEZ, TONY L. : CPL : E4 : MOS : 22 : CANYON LAKE : TX : 20050126 : near Ar Rutbah, Iraq

HOPPER, BRYAN C. : LCPL : E3 : MOS : 21 : WYNNE : ARKANSAS : 20050126 : near Ar Rutbah, Iraq

HOUSE, JOHN D. : HM3 : E6 : MOS : 28 : VENTURA : CA : 20050126 : near Ar Rutbah, Iraq

JAFARKHANI-TORSHIZI JR., SAEED : LCPL : E3 : MOS : 24 : FORT WORTH : TX : 20050126 : near Ar Rutbah, Iraq

JOHNSON, STEPHEN P. : CPL : E4 : MOS : 24 : COVINA : CA : 20050126 : near Ar Rutbah, Iraq

KELLY, SEAN P. : CPL : E4 : MOS : 23 : GLOUCESTER : NJ : 20050126 : near Ar Rutbah, Iraq

KIMBLE, DEXTER S. : SSGT : E6 : MOS : 30 : HOUSTON : TX : 20050126 : near Ar Rutbah, Iraq

KLEIN, ALLAN : LCPL : E3 : MOS : 34 : CLINTON TOWNSHIP : MI : 20050126 : near Ar Rutbah, Iraq

KNIGHT, TIMOTHY A. : CPL : E4 : MOS : 22 : BROOKLYN : OH : 050126 : near Ar Rutbah, Iraq

MACIEL, FRED L. : LCPL : E3 : MOS : 20 : SPRING : TX : 20050126 : near Ar Rutbah, Iraq

MOORE, JAMES L. : CPL : E4 : MOS : 24 : ROSEBURG : OR : 20050126 : near Ar Rutbah, Iraq

MOORE, NATHANIEL K. : CPL : E4 : MOS : 22 : CHAMPAIGN : IL : 20050126 : near Ar Rutbah, Iraq

RAGIMOV, MOURAD : LCPL : E3 : MOS : 20 : SAN DIEGO : CA : 20050126 : near Ar Rutbah, Iraq

RAIRDAN, RHONALD D. : LCPL : E3 : MOS : 20 : SAN ANTONIO : TX : 20050126 : near Ar Rutbah, Iraq

RAMOS, HECTOR : LCPL : E3 : MOS : 20 : AURORA : IL : 20050126 : near Ar Rutbah, Iraq

SAINTVIL, GAEL : LCPL : E3 : MOS : 24 : ORANGE : FL : 20050126 : near Ar Rutbah, Iraq

SCHUBERT, NATHAN A. : CPL : E4 : MOS : 22 : CHEROKEE : IOWA : 20050126 : near Ar Rutbah, Iraq

SCHUMANN, DARRELL J. : LCPL : E3 : MOS : 25 : HAMPTON : VA : 20050126 : near Ar Rutbah, Iraq

SHUMNEY, DUSTIN M. : 1stLT : O2 : MOS : 30 : VALLEJO : CA : 20050126 : near Ar Rutbah, Iraq

SMITH, MATTHEW R. : CPL : E4 : MOS : 24 : WEST VALLEY : UT : 20050126 : near Ar Rutbah, Iraq

SPENCE, JOSEPH B. : LCPL : E3 : MOS : 24 : SCOTTS VALLEY : CA : 20050126 : near Ar Rutbah, Iraq

STARR JR, MICHAEL L. : LCPL : E3 : MOS : 21 : BALTIMORE : MD : 20050126 : near Ar Rutbah, Iraq


Official Correspondence:
Dear Families and Friends,

On the morning of Jan 26, 2005, "Tiger 60", a helicopter crewed by Captain Chris Alaniz, Captain Lyle Gordon, Staff Sergeant Dexter Kimble, and Lance Corporal Tony Hernandez was flying a mission in the Western Iraqi Desert to transport 27 Marines to an outlying base. At approximately 0120 local Iraq time, their aircraft crashed. All personnel on board "Tiger 60" perished.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of our fallen Marines during this time of unthinkable grief. On behalf of the Marines and Sailors of HMH-361, I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family members of Captain Chris Alaniz, Captain Lyle Gordon, Staff Sergeant Dexter Kimble, and Lance Corporal Tony Hernandez.

On numerous occasions, I've personally had the honor of flying with each member of the crew of "Tiger 60". Their professionalism and devotion to duty, both on the ground and in the air, were a great source of pride for me personally as well as for the entire Squadron. They had my unconditional trust and confidence.

I can only begin to comprehend the depth of sorrow the family members of the crew of "Tiger 60" are going through right now but I hope they take solace in the knowledge that Captain Chris Alaniz, Captain Lyle Gordon, Staff Sergeant Dexter Kimble, and Lance Corporal Tony Hernandez gave their lives in the defense of our freedom and for that we are forever in their debt. It is truly tragic that we lose Marines of the caliber of the crew of Tiger 60, but I take comfort in the certainty that we are all better off for having known them. They will not be forgotten.

Semper Fidelis
Anthony L. Winters
Lieutenant Colonel, USMC
Commanding Officer
Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361

Submitted by LtCol Anthony L. Winters, Commanding Officer, HMH-361

Official Correspondence:
All died Jan. 26 when the CH-53E helicopter they were in crashed near Ar Rutbah, Iraq.

Capt Alaniz, Capt Gordon, LCpl Hernandez and SSgt Kimble were assigned to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361, Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif. For further information, contact Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Public Affairs Office at (858) 577-7542.

The passengers were assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Base Hawaii. For further information, contact Marine corps Base, Hawaii Public Affairs Office at (808) 257-8840.

The corpsman/passenger, HM3 House, was assigned to Naval Medical Clinic, Marine Corps Detachment, Pearl Harbor, and attached to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Base Hawaii. For further information, contact Navy Public Affairs at (703) 697-5342.

Submitted by Department of Defense,

Official USMC Source - Memorial Ceremony:
31st MEU Remembers Fallen Brothers
Submitted by: 31st MEU
Story Identification #: 200522161125
Story by Cpl. Matthew R. Jones

CAMP KOREAN VILLAGE, Iraq (Feb. 2, 2005) -- Heads bowed, tears flowed, taps played and Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit remembered 34 fallen Marines and sailors during a somber ceremony.

The memorial service was held for the 30 Marines and a sailor whose lives where lost in a tragic helicopter accident near Ar Rutbah Jan. 26 and three lost during the battle for Fallujah in Nov. 2004.

The fallen Marines were assigned to Company C, Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 31st MEU and Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.

“We lost a lot of good men,” said Lt. Col. Michael R. Ramos, battalion commander, BLT 1/3. “Men who will not go home and see newborn children. Men who will not go home and tell war stories. Men who made a difference.”

The Marines were veterans of numerous firefights and had fought valiantly during the Multi-National Force’s battle for the hostile city of Fallujah.

“When we left Fallujah, I was confident the company would accomplish our mission,” said Capt. Thomas M. Tennant, company commander, C Co. “I just never imagined we would have to do it without 27 of our brothers.”

The unit was traveling to help secure safe polling stations in the small town of Ak Ashat, in the western region of the Al Anbar province when their helicopter crashed.

“The Marines who died in the (helicopter) crash wrote a new chapter in our Corps’ history,” said Tennant.

The Marines had fought to free the citizens of Fallujah and were preparing to ensure a safe place for free elections to take place when they were killed.

“We will remember what these men did,” added Ramos. “We well honor them, we will take care of the families and we will tell the world about the difference they made.”

The Marines lost from BLT 1/3 in the helicopter crash were:

1st Lt. Travis J. Fuller, 26, a native of Granville, Mass., who is survived by his parents.

1st Lt. Dustin M. Shumney, 30, a native of Viellejo, Calif., who is survived by his wife.

Staff Sgt. Brian D. Bland, 26, from Westion, Wyo., who is survived by his wife and mother.

Sgt. Michael W. Finke Jr., 28, from Huron, Ohio, who is survived by his wife.

Cpl. Richard A. Gilbert Jr., 26, a native of Montgomery, Ohio, who is survived by his parents.

Cpl. Stephen P. Johnson, 24, from Covina, Calif., who is survived by his wife and mother.

Cpl. Timothy A. Knight, 22, a native of Brooklyn, Ohio, who is survived by his wife and parents.

Cpl. Timothy M. Gibson, 23, from Hillsborough, N.H., who is survived by his parents.

Cpl. Sean P. Kelly, 23, from Gloucester, N.J., who is survived by his wife and parents.

Cpl. Kyle J. Grimes, 21, a native of North Hampton, Penn., who is survived by his father.

Cpl. Nathaniel K. Moore, 22, from Champaign, Ill., who is survived by his parents.

Cpl. James L. Moore, 24, a native of Roseburg, Ore., who is survived by his parents.

Cpl. Nathan A. Schubert, 22, from Cherokee, Iowa, who is survived by his parents.

Cpl. Matthew R. Smith, 24, a native of West Valley, Utah, who is survived by his parents.

Petty Officer 3rd Class John D. House, 28, from Ventura, Calif., who is survived by his parents.

Lance Cpl. Brian C. Hopper 21, a native of Wynne, Ark., who is survived by his parents.

Lance Cpl. Jonathan E. Etterling, 22, from Wheelersburg, Ohio, who is survived by his parents.

Lance Cpl. Fred L. Marciel, 20, a native of Spring, Texas, who is survived by his parents.

Lance Cpl. Allan Klein, 34, from Clinton Township, Mich., who is survived by his parents.

Lance Cpl. Gael Saintvil, 24, a native of Orange, Flo., who is survived by his wife.

Lance Cpl. Mourad Ragimov, 20, from San Diego, Calif., who is survived by his father.

Lance Cpl. Rhonald Rairdan, 20, a native of San Antonio, Texas, who is survived by his father.

Lance Cpl. Saeed Jafarkhani-turshizi, 25, from Fort Worth, Texas, who is survived by his mother.

Lance Cpl Hector Ramos, 20, a native of Aurora, Ill., who is survived by his father.

Lance Cpl. Darrell J. Schumann, 25, from Hampton, Va., who is survived by his wife and parents.

Lance Cpl. Joseph P. Spence, 24, from Scotts Valley, Calif., who is survived by his with and parents.

Lance Cpl. Michael L. Starr Jr., 21, a native of Baltimore, Md., who is survived by his parents.

Four Marines from HMM-361 also lost their lives in the tragic crash and were remembered during the ceremony.

Captain Paul Alaniz, Capt. Lyle Gordon, Staff Sgt. Dexter Kimble and Lance Cpl. Tony Hernandez.

Submitted by Alan H Barbour, Historian, USMC Combat Helicopter Association

FAREWELL MARINE - A Musical/Pictorial Tribute:
We would be honored for you to attach a link to their Web page, and feel it would be most appropriate for your site.

http://www.pcsuccess.us/yrg/farewell.html

Submitted by Julie Sharp - Yellow Rib reetings, Proud Marine Mom

Squadron Correspondence:
A CH-53 which crashed in Iraq was piloted by Capt. Chris Alaniz, who attended the POPASMOKE Reunion in Reno. Capt Alaniz and several others were the first ACTIVE DUTY Marines to be inducted into the USMC Combat Helicopter Association in July 2004.

Lt. Kalle Kangas is requesting that if anybody has photos of Capt. Alaniz from the Reno Reunion, to please snd them to him. The photos must be no greater than 1 megabyte in size.

Lt. Kalle Kangas, HMH-361:
KangasKG@3MAWDM.USMC.MIL

Submitted by Alan H Barbour, Historian, USMC Combat Helicopter Association

Family Narrative:
John loved his Marines. If anybody is interested, I would be happy to share pictures and letters he sent from Iraq. I would love to hear anybody who may have known John or just feels compelled to write me.
Submitted by Susan House, Mother of Hospital Corpsman John D. House

MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII, Kaneohe Bay:
MARINES KILLED IN IRAQ
MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII, Kaneohe Bay -- Twenty-six Marines and a Navy Corpsman from 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, a Hawaii based unit currently deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, died Jan. 26.

The unit left Hawaii in August for a routine deployment to Okinawa to serve as the ground combat element (Battalion Landing Team) with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). The 31st MEU deployed from Okinawa to Iraq in September.
____________________________________
Staff Sgt. Brian D. Bland, 26, of Weston, Wyo., was killed when the CH-53E helicopter he was in crashed while traveling near Ar Rutbah, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, 1st Marine Division.
Bland reported for recruit training in May 1996, and attended the School of Infantry, Camp Pendleton, Calif., during August of 1996, where he trained to become a mortarman. He arrived in Hawaii in November 2003.
Bland traveled with his unit to the Middle East in September to conduct operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
Bland is survived by his wife and mother. His awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Marine Corps Drill Instructor Ribbon and Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon.
____________________________________
Lance Cpl. Jonathan E. Etterling, 22, of Wheelersburg, Ohio, was killed as a result of a CH-53E helicopter crash while traveling in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, 1st Marine Division.
Etterling enlisted in the Marine Corps May 28, 2002, and attended the School of Infantry during Sept. 2002, where he trained to become a machine gunner. He arrived in Hawaii, November 2002.
Etterling traveled with his unit to the Middle East in September, to conduct operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
Etterling is survived by his parents. His awards include the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
____________________________________

Sgt. Michael W. Finke Jr., 28, of Huron, Ohio, was killed when the CH-53E helicopter he was traveling in crashed while traveling near Ar Rutbah, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, 1st Marine Division.
Finke reported for recruit training in June 1995, and attended the School of Infantry, Camp Lejeune, N.C., during September of 1995, where he trained to become a rifleman. He arrived in Hawaii in July 2004.
Finke traveled with his unit to the Middle East in September to conduct operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
Finke is survived by his wife. His awards include the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
____________________________________

1st Lt. Travis J. Fuller, 26, of Granville, Mass., was killed when the CH-53E helicopter he was in crashed while traveling near Ar Rutbah, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, 1st Marine Division.
Fuller reported for duty in November 2001, and attended the Infantry Officer’s Course during June of 2002. He arrived in Hawaii, July 2004.
Fuller traveled with his unit in September to the Middle East to conduct operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
Fuller is survived by his parents. His awards include the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
____________________________________

Cpl. Timothy M. Gibson, 23, of Hillsborough, N.H, was killed when the CH-53E helicopter he was in crashed while traveling near Ar Rutbah, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 31st Expeditionary Unit, 1st Marine Division.
Gibson reported for recruit training in April 2001, and attended the School of Infantry, Camp Lejeune, N.C., during July 2001, where he trained to become a rifleman. He arrived in Hawaii, September 2001.
Gibson traveled with his unit to the Middle East in September to conduct operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
Gibson is survived by his parents. His awards include the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon and the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal.

Cpl. Richard A. Gilbert Jr., 26, of Montgomery, Ohio, was killed when the CH-53E helicopter he was in crashed while traveling near Ar Rutbah, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, 1st Marine Division.
Gilbert enlisted in the Marine Corps in December 2001, and attended the School of Infantry, Camp Lejeune, N.C., during March of 2002, where he trained to become a rifleman. He arrived in Hawaii in June 2002.
Gilbert traveled with his unit in September to the Middle East to conduct operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
Gilbert is survived by his parents. His awards include the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
____________________________________

Cpl. Kyle J. Grimes, 21, of Northhampton, Pa., was killed when the CH-53E helicopter he was in crashed while traveling near Ar Rutbah, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 31st Expeditionary Unit, 1st Marine Division.
Grimes reported for recruit training in October 2001, and attended the School of Infantry, Camp Lejeune, N.C., during January 2002, where he trained to become a rifleman. He arrived in Hawaii in May 2002.
Grimes traveled with his unit to the Middle East in September to conduct operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
Grimes is survived by his father. His awards include the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon and the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal.
____________________________________

Lance Cpl. Brian C. Hopper, 21, of Wynne, Ark., was killed when CH-53E helicopter crashed while traveling in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, 1st Marine Division.
Hopper enlisted in the Marine Corps in September 2002, and attended the School of Infantry during January 2003, where he trained to become a rifleman. He arrived to Hawaii, March 2003.
Hopper traveled with his unit to the Middle East in September to conduct operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
Hopper is survived by his father. His awards include the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
____________________________________

Hospital Corpsman Third Class John D. House, 28, of Ventura, Calif., died Jan. 26 as a result of a CH-53E helicopter crash while traveling in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, 1st Marine Division.
House enlisted in the Navy, and attended Recruit Training at Great Lakes, Ill., December 1998. Upon graduation in February 1999, House attended Naval Hospital Corpsman School in the same location. House reported to Naval Medical Clinic, Hawaii, March 2003.
House traveled with his unit to the Middle East in September to conduct operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
His awards include the National Defense Service Medal, and the Sea Service Ribbon.
____________________________________

Lance Cpl. Saeed Jafarkhani-torshizi Jr, 25, of Ft. Worth, Texas, was killed as a result of a CH-53E helicopter crash while traveling in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, 1st Marine Division.
Jafarkhani-torshizi enlisted in the Marine Corps in August 2003, and attended the School of Infantry during December 2003, where he trained to become a rifleman. He arrived in Hawaii, February 2004.
Jafarkhani-torshizi traveled with his unit to the Middle East in September, to conduct operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
Jafarkhani-torshizi is survived by his mother. His awards include the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
____________________________________

Cpl. Stephen P. Johnson, 24, of Covina, Calif., was killed when the CH-53E helicopter he was traveling in crashed while traveling near Ar Rutbah, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, 1st Marine Division.
Johnson reported for recruit training in March 2001, and attended the School of Infantry, Camp Pendleton, Calif., in July of 2001, where he trained to become a rifleman. He arrived in Hawaii in September 2001.
Johnson traveled with his unit to the Middle East in September to conduct operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
Johnson is survived by his wife and mother. His awards include the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
____________________________________

Corporal Sean P. Kelly, 23, of Gloucester, N.J., was killed as a result of a CH-53E helicopter crash while traveling in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, 1st Marine Division.
Kelly enlisted in the Marine Corps in December 2001, and attended the School of Infantry during March 2002, where he trained to become a rifleman. He arrived in Hawaii, June 2002.
Kelly traveled with his unit to the Middle East in September, to conduct operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
Kelly is survived by his wife and parents, his awards include the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, and the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal.
____________________________________

Lance Cpl. Allan Klein, 34, of Clinton Township, Mich., was killed when a CH-53E helicopter crashed while traveling in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, 1st Marine Division.
Klein enlisted in the Marine Corps in October 2001, and attended the School of Infantry during February 2002, where he trained to become a rifleman. He arrived in Hawaii, June 2002.
Klein traveled with his unit in September to the Middle East to conduct operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
Klein is survived by his parents, his awards include the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
____________________________________

Cpl. Timothy A. Knight, 22, of Brooklyn, Ohio, was killed when the CH-53E helicopter he was traveling in crashed while traveling near Ar Rutbah, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, 1st Marine Division.
Knight reported for recruit training in December 2001, and attended the School of Infantry, Camp Lejeune, N.C., in March of 2002, where he trained to become a rifleman. He arrived in Hawaii in June 2002.
Knight traveled with his unit to the Middle East in September to conduct operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
Knight is survived by his wife and parents. His awards include the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
____________________________________

Lance Cpl. Fred L. Maciel, 20, of Spring, Texas, was killed when the CH-53E helicopter he was traveling in crashed while traveling near Ar Rutbah, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, 1st Marine Division.
Maciel reported for recruit training in December 2001, and attended the School of Infantry, Camp Lejeune, N.C., in March of 2002, where he trained to become a rifleman. He arrived in Hawaii in March 2004.
Maciel traveled with his unit to the Middle East in September to conduct operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
Maciel is survived by his mother. His awards include the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
____________________________________

Corporal James L. Moore, 24, of Roseburg, Ore., was killed when a CH-53E helicopter crashed while traveling in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, 1st Marine Division.
Moore enlisted in the Marine Corps in December 2001, and attended the School of Infantry during March 2002, where he trained to become a rifleman. He arrived in Hawaii, July 2002.
Moore traveled with his unit to the Middle East in September to conduct operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
Moore is survived by his parents. His awards include the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
____________________________________

Cpl. Nathaniel K. Moore, 22, of Champaign, Ill., was killed when the CH-53E helicopter he was traveling in crashed while traveling near Ar Rutbah, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, 1st Marine Division.
Moore reported for recruit training in March 2001, and attended the School of Infantry, Camp Pendleton, Calif., in July of 2001, where he trained to become a rifleman. He arrived in Hawaii in September 2001.
Moore traveled with his unit to the Middle East in September to conduct operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
Moore is survived by his parents. His awards include the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
____________________________________

Lance Cpl. Mourad Ragimov, 20, of San Diego, Ca., was killed when a CH-53E helicopter crashed while traveling in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, 1st Marine Division.
Ragimov enlisted in the Marine Corps in August 2003, and attended the School of Infantry during December of 2003, where he trained to become a machine gunner. He arrived to Hawaii, February 2004.
Ragimov traveled with his unit to the Middle East in September to conduct operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
Ragimov is survived by his father. His awards include the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
____________________________________

Lance Cpl. Rhonald Rairdan, 20, of San Antonio, Texas, was killed when a CH-53E helicopter crashed while traveling in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, 1st Marine Division.
Rairdan enlisted in the Marine Corps in August 2003, and attended the School of Infantry during December of 2003, where he trained to become a machine gunner. He arrived to Hawaii, February 2004.
Rairdan traveled with his unit to the Middle East in September to conduct operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
Rairdan is survived by his father. His awards include the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
____________________________________

Lance Cpl. Hector Ramos, 20, of Aurora, Ill., was killed when a CH-53E helicopter crashed while traveling in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, 1st Marine Division.
Ramos enlisted in the Marine Corps in August 2003, and attended the School of Infantry during December 2003, where he trained to become a rifleman. He arrived in Hawaii, February 2004.
Ramos traveled with his unit to the Middle East in September to conduct operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
Ramos is survived by his father. His awards include the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
____________________________________

Lance Cpl. Gael Saintvil, 24, of Orange, Fla., was killed when the CH-53E helicopter he was in crashed while traveling near Ar Rutbah, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, 1st Marine Division.
Saintvil reported for recruit training in December 2001, and attended the School of Infantry, Camp Lejeune, N.C., during March 2001, where he trained to become a rifleman. He arrived in Hawaii, June 2004.
Saintvil traveled with his unit to the Middle East in September to conduct operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
Saintvil is survived by his wife. His awards include the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
____________________________________

Corporal Nathan A. Schubert, 22, of Cherokee, Iowa, was killed when the CH-53E helicopter he was in crashed while traveling near Ar Rutbah, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, 1st Marine Division.
Schubert enlisted in the Marine Corps in December 2001, and attended the School of Infantry, Camp Pendleton, Calif., during March of 2002, where he trained to become a rifleman. He arrived in Hawaii, May 2002.
Schubert traveled with his unit in September to the Middle East to conduct operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
Schubert is survived by his parents. His awards include the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
____________________________________

Lance Cpl. Darrell J. Schumann, 25, of Hampton, Va., was killed when a CH-53E helicopter crashed while traveling in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, 1st Marine Division.
Schumann enlisted in the Marine Corps in June 2002, and attended the School of Infantry during September 2002, where he trained to become a machine gunner. He arrived in Hawaii, November 2002.
Schumann traveled with his unit in September to the Middle East to conduct operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
Schumann is survived by his parents and wife. His awards include the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
____________________________________

First Lt. Dustin M. Shumney, 30, of Vallejo, Calif., was killed when a CH-53E helicopter crashed while traveling in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, 1st Marine Division.
Shumney accepted his commission into Marine Corps in June 2001. Shumney arrived in Hawaii and was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division in September 2001.
Shumney traveled with his unit in September to the Middle East to conduct operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
Shumney is survived by his wife. His awards include the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
____________________________________

Corporal Matthew R. Smith, 24, of West Valley, Utah, was killed when a CH-53E helicopter crashed while traveling in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, 1st Marine Division.
Smith enlisted in the Marine Corps in October 2001, and attended the School of Infantry during March of 2002, where he trained to become a rifleman. He arrived in Hawaii, May 2002.
Smith traveled with his unit in September to the Middle East to conduct operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
Smith is survived by his parents. His awards include the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
____________________________________

Lance Cpl. Joseph B. Spence, 24, of Scotts Valley, Calif., was killed when a CH-53E helicopter crashed while traveling in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, 1st Marine Division.
Spence enlisted in the Marine Corps in December 2001, and attended the School of Infantry during March of 2002, where he trained to become a rifleman. He arrived in Hawaii, May 2002.
Spence traveled with his unit to the Middle East in September to conduct operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
Spence is survived by his parents and wife. His awards include the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
____________________________________

Lance Cpl. Michael L. Starr Jr., 21, of Baltimore, Md., was killed when the CH-53E helicopter he was in crashed while traveling near Ar Rutbah, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, 1st Marine Division.
Starr reported for recruit training in May 2001, and attended the School of Infantry, Camp Lejeune, N.C., during September of 2001, where he trained to become a rifleman. He arrived in Hawaii in October 2002.
Starr traveled with his unit to the Middle East in September to conduct operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
Starr is survived by his parents. His awards include the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.








Submitted by Alan H Barbour, Historian, USMC Combat Helicopter Association

Capt Chris Alaniz, HMH-361:


Submitted by MGySgt George Curtis, Popasmoke Admin

Capt Lyle L. Gordon, HMH-361:


Submitted by MGySgt George Curtis, Popasmoke Admin

SSgt Dexter S. Kimble, HMH-361:


Submitted by MGySgt George Curtis, Popasmoke Admin

Cpl Tony L. Hernandez, HMH-361:


Submitted by MGySgt George Curtis, Popasmoke Admin

Personal Request:
If any one has photos of my brother while he was in Iraq or otherwise I would be very grateful if you could scan them and send them to the email I've provided. I in turn have numerous photos my brother sent back from Iraq before he perished in the crash. Thank you
Submitted by Kurt Klein, Brother to LCpl Allan Klein

!stLt Dustin M. Shumney, 1/3/3rdMarDiv:


Submitted by MGySgt George Curtis, Popasmoke Admin

1stLt Travis J. Fuller, 1/3/3rdMarDiv:


Submitted by MGySgt George Curtis, Popasmoke Admin

Cpl Nathan A. Schubert, 1/3/3rdMarDiv:


Submitted by MGySgt George Curtis, Popasmoke Admin

Cpl Stephen P. Johnson, 1/3/3rdMarDiv:


Submitted by MGySgt George Curtis, Popasmoke Admin

Cpl Timothy A. Knight, 1/3/3rdMarDiv:


Submitted by MGySgt George Curtis, Popasmoke Admin

LCpl Gael Saintvil, 1/3/3rdMarDiv:


Submitted by MGySgt George Curtis, Popasmoke Admin

Cpl James L. Moore, 1/3/3rdMarDiv:


Submitted by MGySgt George Curtis, Popasmoke Admin

LCpl Darrell J. Schumann, 1/3/3rdMarDiv:


Submitted by MGySgt George Curtis, Popasmoke Admin

Cpl Timothy M. Gibson, 1/3/3rdMarDiv:


Submitted by MGySgt George Curtis, Popasmoke Admin

LCpl Allan Klein, 1/3/3rdMarDiv:


Submitted by MGySgt George Curtis, Popasmoke Admin

LCpl Jonathan E. Etterling, 1/3/3rdMarDiv:


Submitted by MGySgt George Curtis, Popasmoke Admin

Sgt Michael W. Finke, Jr., 1/3/3rdMarDiv:


Submitted by MGySgt George Curtis, Popasmoke Admin

Cpl Kyle J. Grimes, 1/3/3rdMarDiv:


Submitted by MGySgt George Curtis, Popasmoke Admin

LCpl Bryan C. Hopper, 1/3/3rdMarDiv:


Submitted by MGySgt George Curtis, Popasmoke Admin

HM3 John D. House, 1/3/3rdMarDiv:


Submitted by MGySgt George Curtis, Popasmoke Admin

LCpl Saeed Jafarkhani-Torshizi Jr., 1/3/3rdMarDiv:


Submitted by MGySgt George Curtis, Popasmoke Admin

Cpl Richard A. Gilbert, 1/3/3rdMarDiv:


Submitted by MGySgt George Curtis, Popasmoke Admin

Cpl Sean P. Kelly, 1/3/3rdMarDiv:


Submitted by MGySgt George Curtis, Popasmoke Admin

Cpl Nathaniel K. Moore, 1/3/3rdMarDiv:


Submitted by MGySgt George Curtis, Popasmoke Admin

LCpl Fred L. Maciel, 1/3/3rdMarDiv:


Submitted by MGySgt George Curtis, Popasmoke Admin

Cpl Matthew R. Smith, 1/3/3rdMarDiv:


Submitted by MGySgt George Curtis, Popasmoke Admin

LCpl Michael L. Starr Jr., 1/3/3rdMarDiv:


Submitted by MGySgt George Curtis, Popasmoke Admin

LCpl Joseph B. Spence, 1/3/3rdMarDiv:


Submitted by MGySgt George Curtis, Popasmoke Admin

LCpl Mourad Ragimov, 1/3/3rdMarDiv:


Submitted by MGySgt George Curtis, Popasmoke Admin

LCpl Hector Ramos, 1/3/3rdMarDiv:


Submitted by MGySgt George Curtis, Popasmoke Admin

Newspaper Article:
Navy medic killed in Iraq wanted to protect comrades

Associated Press

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. — Petty Officer 3rd Class John Daniel House was in Iraq when his son was born on Christmas Eve, but he was able to hear little James’ first cries of life over a satellite phone. A few days later, a video hookup allowed House to see him.

But the 28-year-old Navy medic never got to meet his son face-to-face. He was killed, along with 30 Marines, in a helicopter crash Wednesday near the Iraqi town of Rutbah, about 220 miles from Baghdad.

House, who was stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, was scheduled to return to the United States next month. He was originally scheduled to return in July, his family said, but remained in Iraq because of a shortage of medics.

In a letter to his family he had written of bonding with his military comrades and of worrying constantly about them, said his mother, Susan House of Simi Valley.

“I know all of them ... even in the dark, by their mannerisms,” he wrote home. “I don’t know how I am going to deal with losing any of them. It is my job to take care of them and keep them safe.”

House, who was on his second mission to Iraq, married his wife, Melanie, in September 2001.

The 1994 graduate of Moorpark High School had enlisted in the Navy in 1998 for the education benefits, his mother said Thursday. He planned to leave the military when his enlistment was up next year, his mother said, so he could spend more time with his wife and son.

Submitted by Associated Press,

Personal Recollection:

Jonathan Etterling was a real hero. He lived and died serving God and his country with honor. Though he is gone, his love and compassion for mankind lives on in his name through Veterans Helping Veterans & Others {www.veteranshelping.org} Homeless, needy veterans and others are receiving help the way he lived. We love and miss you Jon and our hope is to meet you over home some day.
Submitted by John Foster, Friend

31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable):
31st MEU deploys in support ' Global War on Terror'
Story by Staff Sgt. J. D. Cress Release number: 04-23-003

ABOARD USS ESSEX, South China Sea - The 31st MEU was working toward its Special Operations Capable certification through a series of exercises, conducted every cycle, when it received the call to deploy to U. S. Central Commands area of responsibility for operations in support of the U. S. campaign against terrorism.

Within a week the entire MEU loaded out and set sail. For force protection purposes we do not discuss specific dates for troop and equipment movement.

Though the MEU had not completed the SOC qualification process prior to deployment, that will not effect the unit's capability. Rigorous preparation and training will continue while underway to ensure that readiness is maintained and that the 31st MEU will be capable of responding to a broad spectrum of crisis.

A typical MEU comprises approximately 2,100 Marines and Sailors in four elements; these are the Command Element, Ground Combat Element, Aviation Combat Element and the MEU Service Support Group. These personnel and their equipment are task organized and embarked aboard three to four ships that make up the ARG.

Sea-based naval support is vitally important to MEU mission accomplishment. This support is provided by the personnel and equipment of Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 11 and the ships of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), based in Sasebo, Japan. The 31st MEU is currently embarked aboard the USS Essex, USS Harpers Ferry and the USS Juneau.

The GCE for a MEU is a Battalion Landing Team. Based on an infantry battalion, a BLT is reinforced with artillery, amphibious assault vehicles, combat engineers, an anti-armor section and light armored vehicles. The 31st MEU's current BLT is 1st Battalion., 3rd Marine Regiment based out of Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

There are several types of air assets that provide mission essential support for the MEU. Under the ACE a Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (Reinforced), based at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Okinawa, provides a variety of aviation assets through air combat and logistics capabilities. This unit is a composite squadron of several different aircraft. It contains: CH-53D "Super Stallions", heavy-lift helicopter; CH-46E "Sea Knights" cargo/transport helicopter; UH-1N "Hueys"; AH-1W "Cobra" fast-attack helicopters; and a detachment of AV-8B "Harriers."

The MSSG is comprised of several smaller detachments from the 3rd Force Service Support Group, Okinawa, Japan. It provides extensive service for the MEU and increases force sustainability during extended combat operations that include, but are not limited to, supply, logistic, maintenance, medical and engineer support.

Submitted by from official USMC website,


USMC/COMBAT HELICOPTER ASSOCIATION