Died October 26, 2009 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom
36, of Savannah, Ga.; assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Regiment (Airborne), Hunter Army Airfield, Ga., died Oct. 26 of wounds suffered when the MH-47 helicopter he was aboard crashed in Darreh-ye Bum, Afghanistan. Also killed were Sgt. 1st Class David E. Metzger, Staff Sgt. Keith R. Bishop, Chief Warrant Officer Niall Lyons, Staff Sgt. Shawn H. McNabb, Sgt. Josue E. Hernandez Chavez and Sgt. Nickolas A. Mueller.
DoD IDs soldiers killed in Afghanistan crash
The Defense Department has identified the seven special operations soldiers killed Oct. 26 when their MH-47 helicopter crashed in Badghis province in western Afghanistan.
Two of the soldiers were from 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group of Fort Bragg, N.C., and five were assigned to 3rd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment of Hunter Army Airfield, Ga.
Also killed in the crash were three agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Low visibility has been blamed for the crash, which happened about 3:30 a.m. when the soldiers and federal agents lifted off in the helicopter after an operation to disrupt arms smuggling and drug trafficking in the Darreh-ye Bum Village in Qadis District, according to information from the International Security Assistance Force.
Thick dust stirred up from the initial takeoff overwhelmed the visibility of the crew, according to ISAF. When the crew tried to correct the aircraft’s movement, it struck a tall structure and crashed.
The soldiers assigned to 3rd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment of Hunter Army Airfield, Ga., were:
Chief Warrant Officer Michael P. Montgomery, 36, of Savannah, Ga.
Chief Warrant Officer Niall Lyons, 40, of Spokane, Wash.
Staff Sgt. Shawn H. McNabb, 24, of Terrell, Texas
Sgt. Josue E. Hernandez Chavez, 23, of Reno, Nev.
Sgt. Nickolas A. Mueller, 26, of Little Chute, Wis.
The two soldiers assigned to 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group of Fort Bragg, N.C., were Sgt. 1st Class David E. Metzger, 32, of San Diego, Calif., and Staff Sgt. Keith R. Bishop, 28, of Medford, N.Y.