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Marines ID helicopter crash victims

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 4:09 PM EDT, Tue September 20, 2011
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Capt. Jeffrey Bland and 1st Lt. Thomas Heitmann died in the crash
  • The cause of the crash was still under investigation Tuesday

(CNN) -- The Marine Corps has identified the two-man crew of a helicopter gunship that crashed at Camp Pendleton, California, on Monday, killing both fliers.

Capt. Jeffrey Bland and 1st Lt. Thomas Heitmann died when their AH-1W Cobra went down during a training exercise at the southern California installation, the Marines said. They were assigned to the service's Light Attack Helicopter Training Squadron 303, part of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.

"During this difficult time, I ask that you pray for the families of the warriors that we have lost," Lt Col. Robert Morgan, the squadron commander, said in a statement identifying the men.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation. Both men were dead at the scene, the Marines said Monday.

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