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SAN DIEGO — The five Marines who died when their helicopter crashed during a routine training flight this week have been identified, the Marine Corps said.
They were: Lance Cpl. Donovan Davis, 21, of Olathe, Kansas, a CH-53E helicopter crew chief; Sgt. Alec Langen, 23, of Chandler, Arizona, a CH-53E helicopter crew chief; Capt. Benjamin Moulton, 27, of Emmett, Idaho, a CH-53E helicopter pilot; Capt. Jack Casey, 26, of Dover, New Hampshire, a CH-53E helicopter pilot; and Capt. Miguel Nava, 28, of Traverse City, Michigan, a CH-53E helicopter pilot.
Alec Langen, 23, got married a few weeks ago, ABC San Diego ABC affiliate KGTV reported.
Langen’s dad, Steve Langen, was also a Marine and said he flew the same aircraft.
“I would give anything to be able to trade places and just have him come home,” Steve Langen told KGTV.
“He died with people he wanted to be with, doing what he loved and wanted to do,” he added.
The Marines had been reported missing when their CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter was “reported overdue” to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Tuesday night. The helicopter departed from Creech Air Force Base near Las Vegas and was en route to Miramar, in the San Diego, California, area.
A search effort was launched and the helicopter was discovered Wednesday morning.
On Thursday morning, the Marine Corps announced that the five missing Marines had been confirmed dead. The families had been notified Wednesday night and Thursday morning, the Marines said.
A Marine Corps helicopter that had been missing with five troops aboard was found in a mountainous area outside San Diego.
An investigation is ongoing. The Marines called it a “tragic mishap.”
“We have been confronted with a tragedy that is every service family’s worst fear,” Lt. Col. Nicholas J. Harvey said in a statement Friday. “Our top priority now is supporting the families of our fallen heroes, and we ask for your respect and understanding as they grieve. The Flying Tigers family stands strong and includes the friends and community who have supported our squadron during this challenging time. We will get through this together.”