The Department of Defense has released the names of six U.S. marines who were killed, along with two Napalese soldiers, when their UH-1Y Huey helicopter went down in the mountains of Napal on May 12. All of the fallen Marines were members of Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, from Camp Pendleton, California.
The following Marines lost their lives, far too soon.
* Captain Dustin R. Lukasiewicz, a UH-1Y pilot with Marine Light Attack Squadron 469, Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Camp Pendleton. He was a native of Kansas.
* Captain Christopher L. Norgren, a UH-1Y pilot with HMLA-469, Marine Aircraft Group 39, He was a native of Kansas.
* Sgt. Ward M. Johnson, IV, a UH-1Y helicopter crew chief with HMLA-469, Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. He was a native of Florida.
* Sgt. Eric M. Seaman, a UH-1Y helicopter crew chief with HMLA-469, marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. He was a native of California.
* Cpl. Sara A. Medina, a combat photographer with Marine Corps Installations Pacific, Okinawa, Japan. She was a native of Arizona.
On May 17, Nepalese soldiers and service members from Joint Task Force 505 safely recovered the fallen U.s. and Nepalese service members to the Tribhuvan international Airport in Katmandu, Nepal. The soldiers and Marines were honorably received and will be transported to the appropriate medical facilities to be properly identified.
JTF505 Commander Marine Corps Lt. General John E. Wissler thanked the people of Nepal and the Nepalese armed forces for their selfless dedication in the search and recovery of the fallen service members. He said, “I am honored to serve along alongside the Nepalese soldiers and to call them my friends. You never hesitated in the joint effort to bring our brothers home. Everyone united; the soldiers hiking through hazardous terrain, the pilots flying in uncertain weather conditions and the Nepalese special forces standing watch over our Marines on the mountainside at night,” Lt. General Wissler said. “We honor our fallen comrades through our unselfish support to each other in this time of grief. The fallen service members were courageous, selfless individuals dedication to the international Humanitarian Aid Mission here in Nepal whose memories will live on through the lives they touched during this disaster relief operation and in their previous service to their countries,” he concluded.
JTF 505 arrived in Nepal April 29 to conduct humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations following the April 25 magnitude 7.8 earthquake. The helicopter crashed about eight miles north of Charikot, Nepal, which supporting casualty evacuations following a second earthquake 7.2 that occurred May 12.