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Identities released of U.S. troops killed in helicopter downing

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Forces kill Taliban who downed chopper
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • 30 U.S. personnel were killed in the attack
  • 17 were Navy SEALs
  • 22 were with the Navy, 3 were with the Air Force, and 5 were with the Army
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Washington (CNN) -- The U.S. Defense Department Thursday released the names of U.S. military personnel killed in Saturday's downing of a helicopter in Afghanistan.

Thirty-eight people were killed in that attack, eight of them Afghan military personnel. It was the single largest loss of life for U.S. troops since the Afghan war began in late 2001.

Of the 30 Americans killed in the helicopter crash, 17 were Navy SEALs.

Twenty-two of the dead were U.S. Navy personnel, the Pentagon said. Fifteen were SEALs belonging to the top-secret unit that conducted the raid that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden at a compound in Pakistan. Two others were SEALs assigned to a regular Naval special operations unit.

Five were so-called conventional forces with particular specialties who regularly worked with the SEALs.

The other eight U.S. troops killed included three Air Force forward air controllers and five Army helicopter crew members.

NATO said it killed the militants responsible for the attack. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid rejected that, saying a NATO airstrike killed a separate group of insurgents.

The following list was provided by the Defense Department:

The following sailors assigned to an East Coast-based Naval Special Warfare unit were killed:

Lt. Cmdr. (SEAL) Jonas B. Kelsall, 32, of Shreveport, La.,

Special Warfare Operator Master Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Louis J. Langlais, 44, of Santa Barbara, California;

Special Warfare Operator Senior Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Thomas A. Ratzlaff, 34, of Green Forest, Arkansas;

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Senior Chief Petty Officer (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist) Kraig M. Vickers 36, of Kokomo, Hawaii;

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Brian R. Bill, 31, of Stamford, Connecticut;

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) John W. Faas, 31, of Minneapolis, Minnesota;

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Kevin A. Houston, 35, of West Hyannisport, Massachusetts;

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Matthew D. Mason, 37, of Kansas City, Missouri;

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Stephen M. Mills, 35, of Fort Worth, Texas;

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Chief Petty Officer (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist/Diver) Nicholas H. Null, 30, of Washington, West Virginia;

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Robert J. Reeves, 32, of Shreveport, Louisiana;

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Heath M. Robinson, 34, of Detroit, Michigan;

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Darrik C. Benson, 28, of Angwin, California;

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL/Parachutist) Christopher G. Campbell, 36, of Jacksonville, North Carolina;

Information Systems Technician Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist) Jared W. Day, 28, of Taylorsville, Utah;

Master-at-Arms Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist) John Douangdara, 26, of South Sioux City, Nebraska;

Cryptologist Technician (Collection) Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist) Michael J. Strange, 25, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania;

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL/Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist) Jon T. Tumilson, 35, of Rockford, Iowa;

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Aaron C. Vaughn, 30, of Stuart, Florida;

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Jason R. Workman, 32, of Blanding, Utah.

The following sailors assigned to a West Coast-based Naval Special Warfare unit were killed:

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Jesse D. Pittman, 27, of Ukiah, California, and

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 2nd Class (SEAL) Nicholas P. Spehar, 24, of Saint Paul, Minnesota.

The soldiers killed were:

Chief Warrant Officer David R. Carter, 47, of Centennial, Colorado. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), Aurora;

Chief Warrant Officer Bryan J. Nichols, 31, of Hays, Kansas. He was assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), New Century, Kansas;

Sgt. Patrick D. Hamburger, 30, of Lincoln, Neb. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), Grand Island, Nebraska;

Sgt. Alexander J. Bennett, 24, of Tacoma, Washington. He was assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), New Century, Kansas; and

Spc. Spencer C. Duncan, 21, of Olathe, Kansas. He was assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), New Century, Kansas.

The airmen killed were:

Tech. Sgt. John W. Brown, 33, of Tallahassee, Florida;

Staff Sgt. Andrew W. Harvell, 26, of Long Beach, California; and

Tech. Sgt. Daniel L. Zerbe, 28, of York, Pennsylvania.

All three airmen were assigned to the 24th Special Tactics Squadron, Pope Field, North Carolina.

On Thursday, Al Jazeera aired video of what it said was wreckage of the helicopter. The video shows unspent shells; papers in English and rubble.

"These are the only pictures of the helicopter remains that NATO forces were not able to hide," the narrator says. "It's apparent that the helicopter did not only fall, but it exploded and scattered."

-CNN's Josh Levs, Mallory Simon, Ashley Fantz, Moni Basu, and Alan Duke contributed to this report

 
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