Marines killed in helicopter crash near El Centro identified - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Marines killed in helicopter crash near El Centro identified

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — Authorities on Thursday identified four Marines killed in a helicopter crash near El Centro on Tuesday.

The Marines were from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 465, Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, out of Miramar air station in San Diego.

"The loss of our Marines weighs heavy on our hearts," said Maj. Gen. Mark Wise, commanding general of 3rd MAW. "Our priority is to provide support for our families and HMH-465 during this critical time."

The Marines were identified as follows:

Capt. Samuel A. Schultz, 28, of Huntington Valley, Pennsylvania, was a pilot assigned to HMH-465. He joined the Marine Corps in May 2012.

First Lt. Samuel D. Phillips, 27, of Pinehurst, North Carolina, was a pilot assigned to HMH-465. He joined the Marine Corps in August 2013.

Gunnery Sgt. Derik R. Holley, 33, of Dayton, Ohio, was a CH-53 helicopter crew chief assigned to HMH-465. He joined the Marine Corps in November 2003.

Lance Cpl. Taylor Conrad, 24, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was a CH-53 helicopter crew chief assigned to HMH-465. Conrad joined the Marine Corps in May 2016. 

"The hardest part of being a Marine is the tragic loss of life of a fellow brother-in-arms," said Col. Craig Leflore, commanding officer of Marine Aircraft Group 16. "My deepest sympathies go out to the families and friends of Capt. Samuel Shultz, 1st Lt. Samuel Phillips, Gunnery Sgt. Derik Holley, and Lance Cpl. Taylor Conrad. These "Warhorse" Marines brought joy and laughter to so many around them. They each served honorably, wore the uniform proudly and were a perfect example of what makes our Marine Corps great - its people! They will forever be in our hearts and minds."

The aircraft departed the Strategic Expeditionary Landing Field at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, California, to conduct squadron training when it crashed approximately 15 miles west of El Centro.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

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