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Twelve marines now declared deceased after helicopter lost near Hawaiian island


This news story was published on January 22, 2016.
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usa-flagMARINE CORPS BASE KANEOHE BAY, HAWAII – Twelve U.S. Marines died when their two CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters were involved in an incident off the coast of Oahu’s Waimea Bay along the North Shore the evening of Jan. 14.

The status of these Marines changed to “deceased” on Jan. 20 after five full days of search and rescue operations. Marine Corps casualty assistance calls officers personally notified each family of the change.

Deceased are:

Maj. Shawn M. Campbell served as a CH-53E Super Stallion pilot with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463, Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing stationed on Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Campbell, 41, from College Station, Texas, joined the Marine Corps Sept. 30, 1999. His deployments include Operation Iraqi Freedom and the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit. Campbell’s decorations include the Air Medal with strike/flight device, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with gold star in lieu of second award, Navy Unit Commendation with two bronze stars in lieu of third award, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with two bronze campaign stars, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with two bronze stars in lieu of third award.

Capt. Brian T. Kennedy served as a CH-53E Super Stallion pilot with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463, Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing stationed on Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Kennedy, 31, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, joined the Marine Corps July 1, 2003. Kennedy’s decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with one bronze star in lieu of second award.

Capt. Kevin T. Roche served as a CH-53E Super Stallion pilot with Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing stationed on Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Roche, 30, from St. Louis, Missouri, joined the Marine Corps Dec. 19, 2005. His deployments include Operation Enduring Freedom. Roche‘s decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with one bronze star in lieu of second award.

Capt. Steven R. Torbert served as a CH-53E Super Stallion pilot with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463, Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing stationed on Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Torbert, 29, from Florence, Alabama, joined the Marine Corps Oct. 14, 2004. Torbert‘s decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

Sgt. Adam C. Schoeller served as a CH-53E Super Stallion crew chief with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463, Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing stationed on Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Schoeller, 25, from Gardners, Pennsylvania, joined the Marine Corps March 23, 2008. His deployments include Operation Enduring Freedom. Schoeller‘s decorations include the Air Medal with one individual action device and five strike/flight devices, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal with bronze star in lieu of second award, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with bronze star in lieu of second award, and the NATO Medal.

Sgt. Dillon J. Semolina served as a CH-53E Super Stallion crew chief with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463, Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing stationed on Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Semolina, 24, from Chaska, Minnesota, joined the Marine Corps Sept. 1, 2011. Semolina’s decorations include the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

Sgt. Jeffrey A. Sempler served as a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter crew chief with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463, Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing stationed on Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Sempler, 22, from Woodruff, South Carolina, joined the Marine Corps Aug. 12, 2010. Sempler’s decorations include the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

Sgt. William J. Turner served as a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter crew chief with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463, Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing stationed on Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Turner, 25, from Florala, Alabama, joined the Marine Corps Aug. 8, 2008. His deployments include Operation Enduring Freedom. Turner’s decorations include the Air Medal with four strike/flight devices, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal with bronze star in lieu of second award, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon and the NATO Medal.

Cpl. Matthew R. Drown served as a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter crew chief with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463, Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing stationed on Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Drown, 23, from Spring, Texas, joined the Marine Corps March 2, 2011. Drown’s decorations include the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

Cpl. Thomas J. Jardas served as a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter crew chief with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463, Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing stationed on Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Jardas, 22, from Fort Myers, Florida, joined the Marine Corps May 6, 2011. Jardas’ decorations include the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

Cpl. Christopher J. Orlando served as a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter crew chief with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463, Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing stationed on Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Orlando, 23, from Hingham, Massachusetts, joined the Marine Corps Aug. 9, 2012. Orlando’s decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

Lance Cpl. Ty L. Hart served as a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter crew chief with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463, Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing stationed on Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Hart, 21, from Aumsville, Oregon, joined the Marine Corps Aug. 8, 2012. Hart’s decorations include the National Defense Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter provided the department’s condolences to the loved ones and families of 12 Marines who’ve gone missing since two Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters, each with six crew members aboard, are presumed to have crashed off Hawaii’s Oahu Island Jan. 14.

The U.S. Coast Guard suspended the search for the missing Marines Jan. 19.

“Our hearts go out to the loved ones and family members of 12 Marines missing since an apparent helicopter collision off the coast of Hawaii last week,” Carter said in a DoD news release issued yesterday. “While there is no way to comprehend the grief their families feel today, this we do know: These proud Marines died as they lived, in service to a country they loved and in dedication to a cause greater than themselves.”

Carter said he also wanted to extend his gratitude to the Air Force, Coast Guard, Navy, and Marine personnel “who have been absolutely unwavering in their efforts to locate and rescue their colleagues.”

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One Response to Twelve marines now declared deceased after helicopter lost near Hawaiian island

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    Allen Reply Report comment

    January 22, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    The ultimate sacrifice made by our service members, RIP. Thank you for your service. Semper Fi.