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U.S. identifies four Marines killed in helicopter crash


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IDENTIFIED COALITION CASUALITIES
• Maj. Jay Thomas Aubin, Waterville, Maine
• Capt. Ryan Anthony Beaupre, Bloomington, Illinois
• Cpl. Brian Matthew Kennedy, Houston, Texas
• Staff Sgt. Kendall Damon Watersbey, Baltimore, Maryland
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Family members grieve for the four U.S. Marines killed in a helicopter crash in Kuwait. CNN's Thelma Gutierrez reports.
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Royal Air Force spokesman John Fynes talks to CNN's Bill Hemmer about the helicopter crash.
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Maj. Jay Thomas Aubin, Capt. Ryan Anthony Beaupre, Cpl. Brian Matthew Kennedy and Staff Sgt. Kendall Damon Watersbey were the four Marine crew members killed aboard the U.S. CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter that crashed early Friday in Kuwait, according to a statement from the Department of Defense.

The eight British military personnel aboard also were killed in the crash, which occurred as the helicopter was flying through heavy wind and a sandstorm.

Aubin was assigned to the Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron-1, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, Arizona.

"We've lost some of our family, and when anyone loses a member of their family it's not something that is taken lightly," said Major Curtis Hill at Camp Pendleton.

"We mourn the loss of these Marines."

Beaupre, Kennedy and Watersbey were assigned to the Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron-268, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Corps Air Station at Camp Pendleton, California.

Aubin, 36, was from Waterville, Maine; Beaupre, 30, was from Bloomington, Illinois, Kennedy, 25, was from Houston, Texas, and Watersbey, 29, was from Baltimore, Maryland, the DOD statement said.

Watersbey's father angrily blamed President Bush for his son's death.

"George Bush, take a good look at this man, cause you took my only son away from me," Michael Watersbey said, holding up a picture of his son.

The elder Watersbey said he was told his son's mission was canceled due to bad weather.

"The helicopter was on its way up to Iraq, and it was a bad storm so they had to turn back around, and that's when the helicopter went down," he said.

"Like all Mainers, I am saddened by the deaths of Major Jay Aubin and Corporal Brian Kennedy," U.S. Rep. Tom Allen, D-Maine, said in a statement.

"These brave young men have given what Abraham Lincoln so eloquently deemed 'the last full measure of devotion' to their country. We will remember their sacrifice and honor their service on our behalf. Our hearts and prayers go out to their families."

Aubin's parents live in Machias and Winslow, Maine, and Kennedy's mother lives in Port Clyde, Maine.


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