CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Two special forces Marines from the Tri-Stata area are among seven who were killed when a Black Hawk helicopter crashed into the waters off Florida during a routine training mission in dense fog.
Capt. Stanford Henry Shaw III of Basking Ridge, New Jersey and Staff Sgt. Liam Flynn of Queens were killed when the aircraft slammed into the water during a routine training mission early Tuesday.
Shaw attended Ridge High School, where he was student government president and captain of the varsity lacrosse team.
He attended the United States Naval Academy and upon his graduation in 2006 became a commissioned Marine officer. After graduating from the Infantry Officer Course, he was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines.
He served two tours of duty in Iraq, according to information provided by the Marines at Camp Lejeune.
Born in Reading, England, Flynn moved to Queens in 2002. He enlisted in the Marine Corps that year. After boot camp, he was assigned to Camp LeJeune. He served tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Also killed were Master Sgt. Thomas Saunders of Camp Lejeune, Staff Sgt. Trevor P. Blaylock of Lake Orion, Michigan; Staff Sgt. Kerry Michael Kemp of Port Washington, Wisconsin; Staff Sgt. Andrew Seif of Holland, Michigan; and Staff Sgt. Marcus Bawol from Warren, Michigan.
All were from the 2nd Special Operations Battalion of the Marine Corps Special Operations Command and were stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
Four Louisiana National Guard soldiers also died in the crash. Their names have yet been released.
The Air Force said in a news release that a salvage barge was expected to arrive at the crash site by early Friday afternoon. The work to haul the shattered helicopter core from about 25 feet of water could take up to eight hours.
A Coast Guard dive team was expected to help with the operation.
Officials said the salvage and recovery would end if weather conditions deteriorated. Sporadic rain showers covered the crash site on Friday, but the heavy fog lifted after hampering recovery operations since Tuesday.
The cause of the crash, described as “high impact” by Eglin Fire Chief Mark Giuliano, is being probed by the U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center out of Fort Rucker, Alabama.
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