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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 TRAINING LOSS - PREPARATION FOR COMBAT



150114   HMH-463   HMH-463   TRAINING LOSS - PREPARATION FOR COMBAT

Incident Date 150114 HMH-463 CH-53E - BuNo unknown - and HMH-463 CH-53E - BuNo unknown - Mid-air over water during night CrewChief training mission in Oahu

[CREW]
Campbell, Shawn M. Maj. Pilot HMH-463 1stMAW/Kaneoye Bay MCAS, HI 160114
Drown, Matthew R. Cpl. Crew Chief HMH-463 1stMAW/Kaneoye Bay MCAS, HI 160114
Hart, Ty L. LCpl Crew HMH-463 1stMAW/Kaneoye Bay MCAS, HI 160114
Jardas, Thomas J. Cpl. Crew Chief HMH-463 1stMAW/Kaneoye Bay MCAS, HI 160114
Kennedy, Brian T. Capt. Pilot HMH-463 1stMAW/Kaneoye Bay MCAS, HI 160114
Orlando, Christopher NMN Cpl. Crew Chief HMH-463 1stMAW/Kaneoye Bay MCAS, HI 160114
Roche, Kevin NMN Capt. Pilot HMH-463 1stMAW/Kaneoye Bay MCAS, HI 160114
Schoeller, Adam C. Sgt. Crew Chief HMH-463 1stMAW/Kaneoye Bay MCAS, HI 160114
Semolina, Dillon J. Sgt. Crew Chief HMH-463 1stMAW/Kaneoye Bay MCAS, HI 160114
Sempler, Jeffrey A. Sgt. Crew Chief HMH-463 1stMAW/Kaneoye Bay MCAS, HI 160114
Torbert, Steven R. Capt. Pilot HMH-463 1stMAW/Kaneoye Bay MCAS, HI 160114
Turner, William NMN Sgt. Crew Chief HMH-463 1stMAW/Kaneoye Bay MCAS, HI 160114


College Station, TX : 41

Spring : TX : 23

AUMSVILLE : OR : 21

Fort Myers : FL : 22

PHILADELPHIA : PA : 31

Hingham : MA : 23

ST LOUIS : MO : 30

GARDNERS : PA : 25

CHASKA : MN : 24

Woodruff : SC : 22

FLORENCE : AL : 29

Florala : AL : 25


News Release - 19 Jan 2016:
HONOLULU -- The Coast Guard says it is suspending a massive search for 12 Marines who have been missing since two helicopters crashed off Hawaii.

The search for survivors was called off Tuesday afternoon after nearly five days of round-the-clock searching involving multiple agencies. The search began late Thursday when a civilian on a beach reported seeing the helicopters flying and then a fireball.
Search continues for Marines involved in helicopter collision
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Search continues for Marines involved in helicopter collision

The Marines were alerted when the helicopters carrying six crew members each failed to return to their base following a nighttime training mission. Hours later, the Coast Guard spotted debris 2 1/2 miles off of Oahu.

All four life rafts that were aboard the helicopters were later found empty.

The Coast Guard initially reported that the choppers had collided, but the Marines said later it's not yet known if there was a collision.

High waves dispersed the debris and complicated the search. The Coast Guard told CBS News previously that crews found an empty life raft and fire on the water during the initial search.

News Release - 17 Jan 2016:
HALEIWA, Hawaii - The high surf warning that has complicated the search for 12 Marines who are missing after two helicopters crashed off Hawaii was expected to persist Sunday.

The waves dispersed the debris and complicated the search, which was expanded to include waters off Oahu's west coast. "It makes finding things incredibly difficult," Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Scott Carr said.

Rescuers battled waves up to 30 feet Saturday, but winds decreased to about 10 mph.

The U.S. Marines Corp released the names of the 12 missing crew members late Saturday. Though based in Hawaii, the Marines were from various states.

Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Sara Mooers told CBS Honolulu affiliate KGMB-TV that a Wailua resident reported hearing aircraft and then saw a fireball. Another individual reported seeing a flare.

A Coast Guard helicopter and C-130 airplane spotted a debris field 2 1/2 miles offshore early Friday. The debris covers an area of 2 miles.

The Coast Guard told CBS News that crews also found an empty life raft and fire on the water.
12 missing after helicopters collide off Hawaii
Play Video
12 missing after helicopters collide off Hawaii

The Marines were alerted when the CH-53E helicopters carrying six crew members each failed to return to their base at Kaneohe Bay following a nighttime training mission. Hours later, a Coast Guard helicopter and C-130 airplane spotted debris off of Oahu.

A Navy P-3 airplane was scouring the ocean, along with helicopters from the Coast Guard, Army, Navy and Honolulu police and fire departments. Two Navy warships and two Coast Guard cutters were on the scene. Honolulu lifeguards on personal watercraft were also looking.

The Coast Guard was keeping people out of a wide zone that spanned about 30 miles of shoreline, citing danger from debris. The zone extended from the shore to 8 miles off the coast.

National Weather Service meteorologist Derek Wroe said Saturday that the surf peaked Friday afternoon and was slowly declining.

A storm about 1,500 miles to the north and northwest of Oahu was sending large swells to the islands, he said.

The transport helicopters were part of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Known as Super Stallions, they are the U.S. military's largest helicopter, capable of carrying a light armored vehicle, 16 tons of cargo or a team of combat-equipped Marines, according to a Marine Corps website.

The Coast Guard initially reported that the choppers had collided, but Marine Capt. Timothy Irish said Friday that he did not know if the accident was a collision.

The helicopters normally carry four crew members, but this particular flight also carried one or two instructor trainers, Irish said. He did not know if they were teaching the crew or just observing.

News Release - 26 October 2016:
HONOLULU - The cause of a collision between two helicopters off Hawaii that killed 12 Marines in January was revealed to be a combination of pilot error, poor training, and command problems, according to a new report.
CBS Honolulu affiliate KFMB-TV reports the findings were first revealed by the University of California-Berkeley Investigative Reporting program, and show that the pilots in the night training exercise failed to maintain adequate distance when they went down off Oahu’s North Shore.
The incident happened around 11 p.m. on January 14 when two CH-53E helicopters carrying six crew members each failed to return to their base at Kaneohe Bay following a nighttime training mission. Hours later, a Coast Guard helicopter and C-130 airplane spotted debris 2 1/2 miles off of Oahu.
“This loss of life was tragic and is felt deeply in the Marine Corps community,” Marine Corps Pacific spokesman Lt. Col. Curtis L. Hill said, in a statement. “Our thoughts go out to the families of all those affected by this incident.”
The Honolulu Civil Beat publication obtained the official report on the crash, and they say it states that the trailing helicopter in the training exercise slammed into the lead vehicle, causing both to go down. There were no apparent mechanical problems with the helicopters.
Civil Beat writes the official reports states that the “impact of the two Super Stallions resulted in a violent explosion with forces ‘estimated at hundreds of times the force of gravity’ and ‘instantaneously’ killed all aboard.”
The official report said the pilots’ Kaneohe Marine Corps Base Hawaii squadron neglected to focus on basic aviation practices, leaving personnel ill prepared for the rigors of flying in formation and in the dark. The pilots had apparently not met minimum flying hour goals prior to the exercise.
Additionally, officials believe the flight should have been cancelled because the unit commander had been fired days before the incident.
The Marines who died in the accident were from various states and ranged in age from 21 to 41.
The transport helicopters that crashed were part of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Known as Super Stallions, they are the U.S. military’s largest helicopter, capable of carrying a light armored vehicle, 16 tons of cargo or a team of combat-equipped Marines, according to a Marine Corps website.

News Release - 26 October 2016:
HONOLULU - The cause of a collision between two helicopters off Hawaii that killed 12 Marines in January [2016] was revealed to be a combination of pilot error, poor training, and command problems, according to a new report.
CBS Honolulu affiliate KFMB-TV reports the findings were first revealed by the University of California-Berkeley Investigative Reporting program, and show that the pilots in the night training exercise failed to maintain adequate distance when they went down off Oahu’s North Shore.
The incident happened around 11 p.m. on January 14 when two CH-53E helicopters carrying six crew members each failed to return to their base at Kaneohe Bay following a nighttime training mission. Hours later, a Coast Guard helicopter and C-130 airplane spotted debris 2 1/2 miles off of Oahu.
“This loss of life was tragic and is felt deeply in the Marine Corps community,” Marine Corps Pacific spokesman Lt. Col. Curtis L. Hill said, in a statement. “Our thoughts go out to the families of all those affected by this incident.”
The Honolulu Civil Beat publication obtained the official report on the crash, and they say it states that the trailing helicopter in the training exercise slammed into the lead vehicle, causing both to go down. There were no apparent mechanical problems with the helicopters.
Civil Beat writes the official reports states that the “impact of the two Super Stallions resulted in a violent explosion with forces ‘estimated at hundreds of times the force of gravity’ and ‘instantaneously’ killed all aboard.”
The official report said the pilots’ Kaneohe Marine Corps Base Hawaii squadron neglected to focus on basic aviation practices, leaving personnel ill prepared for the rigors of flying in formation and in the dark. The pilots had apparently not met minimum flying hour goals prior to the exercise.
Additionally, officials believe the flight should have been cancelled because the unit commander had been fired days before the incident.
The Marines who died in the accident were from various states and ranged in age from 21 to 41.
The transport helicopters that crashed were part of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Known as Super Stallions, they are the U.S. military’s largest helicopter, capable of carrying a light armored vehicle, 16 tons of cargo or a team of combat-equipped Marines, according to a Marine Corps website.

Newspaper Article - 22 Jan 2016:
HONOLULU -- The Marine Corps says the 12 Marines who were in two helicopters that crashed off Hawaii are considered dead. The status of the missing Marines was changed to deceased on Wednesday after five days of searching for them. The Marine Corps says casualty assistance calls officers personally notified each family of the change. The search began late Thursday when a civilian on a beach reported seeing the aircraft flying and then a fireball.

The Marines were alerted when the CH-53E helicopters carrying six crew members each failed to return to their base at Kaneohe Bay following a nighttime training mission. Hours later, a Coast Guard helicopter and C-130 airplane spotted debris 2 1/2 miles off of Oahu. The Coast Guard initially reported that the choppers had collided, but the Marines said later it's not yet known if there was a collision. High waves dispersed the debris and complicated the search. The Coast Guard told CBS News previously that crews found an empty life raft and fire on the water during the initial search.
On Monday, the U.S. Marine Corps released the names of 12 Marines. The Marines were from various states and ranged in age from 21 to 41.

MAJ. SHAWN M. CAMPBELL, 41, COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS
Campbell's mother, Donna McGrew, described the father of four as a "great dad whose kids love him, and he's wonderful husband."
He attended high school in suburban Houston and graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in microbiology.
In a family statement, McGrew said her son accepted a commission after graduation and became a career Marine.
Campbell served three tours in Middle East, the last in Iraq, she told the Houston Chronicle. He returned to the U.S. to be a flying instructor at Pensacola, Florida, and had transferred to Hawaii about two years ago.
He had been living with his wife, Kelli, and their children near the Marine base at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.
"My husband and I want everyone to know that this is not about us," McGrew said in the statement. "This is about the families that are suffering, and about all the sacrifices that our military members and their families make on a daily basis."
He joined the Marine Corps Sept. 30, 1999, and served as a CH-53E Super Stallion pilot, according to the Marine Corps.
CAPT. BRIAN T. KENNEDY, 31, PHILADELPHIA
The Marine Corps said Kennedy joined July 1, 2003. He served as a CH-53E Super Stallion pilot.
Kennedy's father had hoped the search would be successful for his son, who was from suburban Philadelphia.
"This is where he grew up and went to high school, but since he graduated from the Naval Academy, he's been on assignment," said William Kennedy, of Malvern, Pennsylvania.
CAPT. KEVIN ROCHE, 30, ST. LOUIS
Roche joined the Marine Corps Dec. 19, 2005, and his deployments include Operation Enduring Freedom, according to the Marine Corps. He was a CH-53E Super Stallion pilot.
Roche's family praised rescuers for trying to find him and the others. His immediate family members were preparing to travel to Hawaii when the search was suspended, said his brother-in-law Anthony Kuenzel in St. Louis.
CAPT. STEVEN R. TORBERT, 29, FLORENCE, ALABAMA
Torbert grew up in Highland Baptist Church, and his relatives remain members there. A pastor says the church is praying for Torbert.
He served as a CH-53E Super Stallion pilot, according to the Marine Corps. He joined the Marine Corps Oct. 14, 2004.
SGT. ADAM C. SCHOELLER, 25, GARDNERS, PENNSYLVANIA
Relatives say Schoeller and his wife, Samantha Wickel-Schoeller, were married July 4. Schoeller's Facebook page says he attended Boiling Springs High School.
"We value all of the thoughts and prayers offered up on our behalf during this very difficult time," said a statement released through a family friend.
The Marine Corps said he joined March 23, 2008, and his deployments include Operation Enduring Freedom. He served as a CH-53E Super Stallion crew chief.
SGT. DILLON J. SEMOLINA, 24, OF CHASKA, MINNESOTA
Semolina's uncle said his nephew wanted to be a nurse when he left the Marines.
"He was waiting to hear from a school he had applied to and was hoping to hear next week," Ryan Bachand said.
Semolina was an impressive young man, respectful and positive, Bachand said. He had been a good football player at Delano, Minnesota, high school.
The uncle said he would cherish memories of spending time with Semolina when Bachand was a fishing guide in northern Minnesota.
"I was able to teach him how to fish," he said.
The Marine Corps said he joined Sept. 1, 2011, and served as a CH-53E Super Stallion crew chief.
SGT. JEFFREY A. SEMPLER, 22, WOODRUFF, SOUTH CAROLINA
Sempler's hometown held a prayer vigil for the Marine and his family Monday.
His grandparents Ralph and Sandy Beauvier thanked the community for its support, the Herald-Journal reported. Sempler enjoyed reading and driving Ford Mustangs, Ralph Beauvier said.
"I wish I could tell the whole world what a great kid he was," Ralph Beauvier said. "I am very proud of him."
Sempler graduated from Woodruff High School in 2011, and teachers remembered him as quiet and thoughtful, but with a quick wit, principal Aaron Fulmer said in a statement released to WHNS-TV in Greenville, South Carolina.
"He was loved by the community; he was just a really great person," Fulmer said.
He joined the Marine Corps Aug. 12, 2010, and served as a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter crew chief, the Marine Corps said.
SGT. WILLIAM TURNER, 25, FLORALA, ALABAMA
Friends and acquaintances say Turner grew up in the country along the Alabama-Florida line.
A good student and baseball player at Florala High School, Turner joined the Marines as soon as he graduated, school counselor Joea McNeil said. Everyone knew Turner by his middle name of Josh, she said.
"He'd just always wanted to be a Marine, and he was a good candidate," said McNeil, who sat in on Turner's interview with a military recruiter at school.
Gay Burleson, whose son grew up with Turner, said he married in April 2015 while stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Some of Turner's family from Alabama joined his wife in Hawaii to monitor progress of the search, Burleson said.
"We're still just in shock about it," Burleson said.
His deployments include Operation Enduring Freedom and he served as a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter crew chief, according to the Marine Corps.
CPL. MATTHEW R. DROWN, 23, SPRING, TEXAS
Drown joined the Marines shortly after graduating from a suburban Houston high school in 2011.
Drown's former high school English teacher, Yvette Stuckey, told the Houston Chronicle that she remembered Drown as a shy freshman but that he came out of his shell as he grew, eventually participating in debate tournaments.
His speech and debate teacher, Angie Richard, recalled him as "very happy, always smiling" and showing a confidence in public speaking "unusual among high school kids."
Stuckey said she was "shocked but so excited" when Drown told her his plans to enlist after graduation, adding that he was "really excited to follow and serve his country."
He served as a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter crew chief, the Marine Corps said.
CPL. THOMAS J. JARDAS, 22, FORT MYERS, FLORIDA
Jardas is the younger brother of the reigning Miss District of Columbia, Haely Jardas, who competed in last year's Miss America pageant.
The Miss D.C. Organization said in a statement that its thoughts and prayers are with Haely Jardas and her family. Haely Jardas flew home to Florida on Saturday to be with her family, Miss D.C. Executive Director Tricia Lloyd said.
Thomas Jardas joined the Marine Corps May 6, 2011. He served as a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter crew chief, the Marine Corps said.
CPL. CHRISTOPHER ORLANDO, 23, HINGHAM, MASSACHUSETTS
Orlando's family said they are thankful for the outpouring of love, concern and prayers.
His family said in a statement released by the Massachusetts State Police that they were monitoring the search and are thankful for rescuers' hard work.
Before Orlando joined the Marines, he was a counselor at a surf camp in Hull, Massachusetts, and is a "camp legend," the South Shore Surf Camp said in a Facebook post.
Orlando joined the Marine Corps Aug. 9, 2012, and was a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter crew chief, the Marine Corps said.
LANCE CPL. TY L. HART, 21, AUMSVILLE, OREGON
Hart lived on base in Hawaii with his wife, the Oregonian newspaper reported.
Family friend Christina Brown described Hart as upbeat and energetic and said he enjoys nature, boating and wakeboarding.
Hart's former high school football coach and teacher, Alan Kirby, told the newspaper that Hart was a positive kid who always had a smile on his face and called him a quick learner on the gridiron.
He joined the Marine Corps Aug. 8, 2012, and served as a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter crew chief.

Source: CBS News


USMC/COMBAT HELICOPTER & TILTROTOR ASSOCIATION