Marines identify 4 killed in CH-53E crash

From left to right, Lance Cpl. Taylor J. Conrad, Gunnery Sgt. Derik R Holley, 1st Lt. Samuel D. Phillips and Capt. Samuel A. Schultz were killed as a result of a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter crash in the vicinity of El Centro, California, April 3.
Military officials have identified the four Marines killed in Tuesday’s CH-53 crash near El Centro, California.

Capt. Samuel A. Schultz, 1st Lt. Samuel D. Phillips, Gunnery Sgt. Derik R. Holley, Lance Cpl. Taylor J. Conrad, were killed on April 3 when the CH-53 Super Stallion they were operating crashed after leaving the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California.

The two pilots, Schultz and Phillips, and aircrew members, Holley and Conrad, were assigned to Heavy Helicopter Squadron 465, Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing based out of the air station in Miramar, California.

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

Most of the crew was relatively young with few deployments on their belts.

Marines conduct an external lift with a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter during a weapons and tactics course for instructors near Yuma, Arizona, April 3, 2015. (Lance Cpl. Jodson B. Graves)

And one of the crew chiefs, 33-year-old Holley of Dayton, Ohio, was a seasoned veteran with two deployments to Iraq, one tour with the 15th MEU, and a stint at Japan. Having joined the Corps in 2003, the gunny had nearly 15 years of service under his belt.