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



091026   HMLA-169   HMLA-367   Operation ENDURING FREEDOM

Incident Date 091026 HMLA-169 UH-1N - BuNo 159190 - and HMLA-367 AH-1W - BuNo 165333 - MidAir Collision during early morning mission

[CREW]
Fleury, Gregory Michael William Cpl Crew Chief HMLA-169 MAG-39/3rdMAW/1stMEF 091026
Jones, Eric A Capt Pilot HMLA-169 MAG-39/3rdMAW/1stMEF 091026
Mitchell, David Seth Capt Pilot HMLA-367 MAG-39/3rdMAW/1stMEF 091026
Van De Giesen, Kyle Rolf Capt Pilot HMLA-169 MAG-39/3rdMAW/1stMEF 091026


FLEURY, GREGORY MICHAEL WILLIAM : CPL : E4 : USMC : 23 : 4OCT1986 : Anchorage : AK : 26OCT2009 : MidAir Collision over land : 20091026 : Helmand Province : Afghanistan : Ft. Richardson National Cemetary - Alaska - Sect N-22-1208

JONES, ERIC A : CAPT : O3 : USMCR : 29 : 12APR1980 : Westchester : NY : 26OCT2009 : MidAir Collision over land : 20091026 : Helmand Province : Afghanistan : Massachusetts National Cemetery 21-5

MITCHELL, DAVID SETH : CAPT : O3 : USMCR : 30 : 17MAY1979 : Loveland : OH : 26OCT2009 : MidAir Collision over land : 20091026 : Helmand Province : Afghanistan : Arlington National Cemetery

VAN DE GIESEN, KYLE ROLF : CAPT : O3 : USMCR : 29 : 14APR1980 : North Attleboro : MA : 26OCT2009 : MidAir Collision over land : 20091026 : Helmand Province : Afghanistan : Massachusetts National Cemetery 21-4


Department of Defense RELEASE:
DoD Identifies 4 Marine Casualties - Oct. 27

Published on Oct 27, 2009 - 6:07:12 AM


By: Department of Defense

October 27, 2009 - The Department of Defense announced today the death of four Marines who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

The following Marines died Oct. 26 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

Cpl. Gregory M.W. Fleury, 23, of Anchorage, Alaska.

Capt. Eric A. Jones, 29, of Westchester, N.Y.

Capt. David S. Mitchell, 30, of Loveland, Ohio.

Capt. Kyle R. Van De Giesen, 29, of North Attleboro, Mass.


Fleury, Jones and Van De Giesen were assigned to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 169, Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, I Marine Expeditionary Force, based out of Camp Pendleton, Calif.

Mitchell was assigned to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 367, Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, I Marine Expeditionary Force, based out of Camp Pendleton, Calif.

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

Cincinnati Enquirer Report:

Loveland Marine killed in Afghanistan

By Jennifer Baker, Barrett J. Brunsman and Carrie Whitaker
Cincinnati Enquirer via Gannett News Service

Marine Capt. David S. Mitchell

30, of Loveland, Ohio; assigned to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 367, Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, I Marine Expeditionary Force, based out of Camp Pendleton, Calif.; died Oct. 26 in a collision between a UH-1 and an AH-1 helicopter in Helmand province, Afghanistan. Also killed were Cpl. Gregory M.W. Fleury, Capt. Eric A. Jones and Capt. Kyle R. Van De Giesen.






Loveland Marine killed in Afghanistan

By Jennifer Baker, Barrett J. Brunsman and Carrie Whitaker
Cincinnati Enquirer via Gannett News Service

LOVELAND – David “Seth” Mitchell was known as “Mr. Personality” when he was president of the senior Class of 1997 at Loveland High School.

Even then the student council member, varsity football player and track runner dreamed of serving in the United States military, friends said Tuesday night at a prayer vigil held in his honor.

“I remember he didn’t want to take anyone’s life,” said friend and former teammate Nick Jackson. “He was thinking about this as a sophomore — he was so thoughtful but he felt such a duty to serve.”

Assistant Athletic Director Kevin Taylor said everybody got along with Mitchell.

“I don’t know that he had an enemy,” Taylor said.

But he did: terrorism.

Mitchell, a Cobra helicopter pilot for the Marine Corps, died Monday trying to defeat it in Afghanistan. He was 30.

Two Marine helicopters — a UH-1 and an AH-1 Cobra — collided in flight before sunrise over southern Afghanistan while supporting combat operations, the military disclosed Tuesday. He was one of four Marines killed. Two others were wounded.

His classmates at Loveland High School, teachers, friends and strangers gathered Tuesday night in the school lobby where Mitchell spent his high school years. Later, they moved outside to light candles in his memory.

The shock and loss was evident. Tears fell freely as friends held one another. His classmates, some now young parents, clutched their babies.

About a dozen gathered their courage to stand in front of television cameras and share their memories of Mitchell.

“Seth was my neighbor and he was also a friend,” said Chandra Johnson. “I always felt like when I had conversations with him – I always felt like what I was saying was important. When he talked to you he really wanted to know what you wanted to say.”

Erica Miller gladly helped organize the Class of 1997’s 10-year reunion when Mitchell’s responsibilities kept him too busy to plan it, she said. But he was sure to attend.

“At our class reunion, he was the first one on the dance floor and the last one to leave,” Miller said.

Mitchell grew up in Miami Township, but his family now lives in North Carolina. They could not be reached for comment on Tuesday. He has one sibling, friends said. He is the first Loveland High graduate to die in Afghanistan.

Teachers said Mitchell was the kind of student impossible to forget.

“He sat in the row by the window, third seat back,” said social studies teacher Jeff Geiger, who had Mitchell in his global issues class. “He was always prepared, always did his work. He was the type of kid every teacher wanted in the classroom. We knew he would be successful because he worked hard and was ready to go every day.”

Mitchell graduated from Virginia Tech, joined the Marine Corps in 2001 and was stationed at Camp Pendleton near San Diego, said Marine spokeswoman Cpl. Jessica Aranda.

A member of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, he was assigned to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 367, Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.

During his time in the Marines, he received 10 medals and commendations, including the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

A former Marine himself, Geiger said he was especially proud of Mitchell, who helped him stay in touch with Loveland High graduates after they joined the military.

“Seth being a Marine, I have kind of a special place in my heart for him,” Geiger said. “Seth was always willing to help out in any way that he could.

“We won’t let him be forgotten,” Geiger said. “He gives us his life. His sacrifice is why we are able to do what we do on a daily basis. Without men like Seth, who knows where we would be?”

Other teachers at Loveland jumped at the chance Tuesday to honor Mitchell’s memory with accolades.

Julie Powers, who teaches math and spent four years working with Mitchell as an adviser to student council, said Mitchell planned on being a pilot from a young age.

“I don’t know exactly what turned him onto that as a young boy,” Powers said, “but before he reached grade nine, one thing was on his radar screen, no pun intended.”

She said he exemplified the strong leadership demonstrated by the 180-member Class of 1997.

“He was someone who put 110 percent into everything he did, and he did everything,” Powers said.

Powers broke down in tears, then mentioned her son, a fourth-grade student.

“If my son would grow up to be even half the man Seth grew up to be, I will consider myself a success as a parent,” Powers said as she cried. “He was just an amazing kid.”

Mitchell was the second member of the military from Clermont County to die in Afghanistan.

Army Spc. Gregory James Missman, 36, of Union Township, an Amelia High School graduate, was killed by insurgents in July. Six residents have died in Iraq. Two other members of the military killed in Iraq had parents who lived in the county.

“I’m sure we will do something to honor one of Clermont County’s finest,” said County Commissioner Bob Proud, founder of the Whole in My Heart support group for the families and friends of those serving in Afghanistan or Iraq. “The first thing I’m going to try to do is contact his parents to express condolences on behalf of a grateful Clermont County. We will never forget his service or sacrifice.”

Mary Makley Wolff, chairwoman of the Miami Township Board of Trustees, said she would work with local and county officials to “try to reach out to the family and to the community to honor the memory of such a hero.”

The other Marines killed in the collision were Cpl. Gregory M.W. Fleury, 23, of Anchorage, Alaska; Capt. Eric A. Jones, 29, of Westchester, N.Y.; and Capt. Kyle R. Van De Giesen, 29, of North Attleboro, Mass.

Separately Monday, a U.S. military helicopter crashed while returning from the scene of a firefight with suspected Taliban drug traffickers in western Afghanistan, killing 10 Americans, including three DEA agents.

The two crashes made it the deadliest day for U.S. forces in Afghanistan in more than four years.

“[Seth] believed every bit in his service for our country … he knew it was his calling,” said friend Marci Weable. “We’re blessed to have had him be a part of our lives.”

———

The Associated Press contributed.




Ohio-bred Marine buried at Arlington

By Peter Urban
Gannett News Service

ARLINGTON, Va. — Three Apache Cobra helicopters swept across a clear blue sky over Arlington National Cemetery early Nov. 6 to pay tribute to a pilot killed last month in Afghanistan.

On the hallowed ground below, nearly 200 family, friends and fellow Marines had gathered atop a small knoll where the ashes of Marine Capt. David “Seth” Mitchell were placed on a horse-drawn caisson. A 1997 Loveland High School graduate, the Marine Corps pilot was killed Oct. 26 in a helicopter collision over southern Afghanistan. He had served two previous tours of duty in Iraq.

A Marine band and honor guard led the caisson and the crowd behind down a short road to the cemetery section, where hundreds of marble headstones mark the graves of the honored dead from Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

Friends and family traveled from Ohio, North Carolina, Hawaii and Iraq to attend Mitchell’s burial. At the graveside ceremony, his parents, Steve and Connie, younger brother Drew, and aunt and uncle Dottie and Steve Stewart sat together as Chaplain Guy M. Lee offered words of comfort and a prayer.

Off to the side, a firing party fired three rifle volleys, and a lone bugler played Taps.

“We felt honored that so many were there honoring him, and that he did touch so many lives from within and outside of the military,” Steve Mitchell said after the ceremony.

At the graveside, Lt. Gen. George J. Flynn presented the family with an American flag used during the full honors ceremony and offered condolences on bended knee. Mitchell’s father wiped his eyes as Flynn spoke to them.

Flynn, commanding general of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command, volunteered to preside at the ceremony. His son was a close friend of Seth. They met at Virginia Tech and went through Officer Candidates School together.

Marine Gunnery Sgt. William Dixon also offered condolences to the family as he presented 20-year-old Drew with shot casings.

Rep. Jean Schmidt, R-Ohio, stood with other family and friends. She offered the family an American flag that flew over the Capitol earlier in the week.

Although he was born in North Carolina, Mitchell considered Clermont County his home. His family moved there when he was 11. At Loveland High School, he played on the football team and was elected senior class president. His classmates voted him “Mr. Personality.”

Former classmates, teachers, friends and strangers gathered last week in the school lobby. Later, they moved outside to light candles in his memory. Feelings of shock and loss were evident. Tears fell freely as friends held one another. Mitchell’s former classmates, some now young parents, clutched their babies.

On Wednesday, 300 people attended his funeral at Colonial Baptist Church in Cary, N.C. His family had moved back there in 2001.

Mitchell, 30, joined the Marines in 2001 after graduating from Virginia Tech on an ROTC scholarship.

A member of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, he was assigned to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 367, Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.

During his time in the Marines, he received 10 medals and commendations, including the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

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

Summary:
Four Marines died Oct. 26 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. Killed were: Cpl. Gregory M.W. Fleury, 23, of Anchorage, Alaska., Capt. Eric A. Jones, 29, of Westchester, N.Y., Capt. David S. Mitchell, 30,of Loveland, Ohio, and Capt. Kyle R. Van De Giesen, 29, of North Attleboro, Mass. Fleury, Jones and Van De Giesen were assigned to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 169, Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, I Marine Expeditionary Force, based out of Camp Pendleton, Calif. Mitchell was assigned to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 367, Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, I Marine Expeditionary Force, based out of Camp Pendleton, Calif.

WPRI News Dispatch:
Published : Monday, 26 Oct 2009, 2:39 PM EDT

Nancy Krause
NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. (WPRI) - A Marine from North Attleboro was killed in the line of duty Monday. According to family members, Capt. Kyle R. Van De Giesen was among 14 Americans killed in two separate helicopter crashes in Afghanistan.

In one of the crashes 10 Americans, including seven troops and three agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration , were killed when their chopper went down shortly after a firefight in the western part of Afghanistan.

In another crash, four troops were killed when two U.S. Marine helicopters crashed in flight over the southern province of Helmand.

It's not yet know in which crash Van De Giesen was killed.

Van De Giesen was a 1998 graduate of North Attleboro High School and a 2002 graduate of St. Anselm College . He was currently stationed at Camp Pendleton in San Diego, Calif.

His family said Van De Giesen was proud to seve his country.

"He fulfilled his life-long dream of becoming a Marine helicopter pilot; protecting his family and seving his country," a family statement said.

Van De Giesen leaves behind his wife, Megan, who is pregnant with the couple's second child, a son. They also have a daughter, Avery.


Personal Comment:
It's memorial day and I just wanted to mention that I will miss Fleury. We were in training together at Pendleton as 6114s. He was a good friend and an honorable man. God rest him.
Submitted by Merico A Fantigrossi, Comrade


USMC/COMBAT HELICOPTER & TILTROTOR ASSOCIATION