Fri, Nov 19, 2004
17 Lost When Two UH-60s Collided
Six Army troops who died in the crash of their UH-60 in Iraq
last year were honored at Fort Campbell (KY) Monday. There, family,
friends and fellow soldiers unveiled a monument called, "Wings of
"I think it helps immensely," said Lt. Col. Stephen Burns,
commander of the Army's Fourth Battalion, 101st Airborne Division.
In dedicating the memorial, he said losing soldiers is one of the
toughest experiences a unit must endure. But the four men who died
November 15th, 2003, didn't die in vain, he said. Because of them,
Iraqis "may have the chance to take a drink from the cup of
liberty," he told a crowd of about 300 people.
The $9,000 memorial was paid for with donations and
fund-raisers. After the solemn unveiling, family members were
escorted by Fourth Battalion troops as they laid a wreath of
flowers at the base of a tree planted in memory of those
1st Lt. Jeremy L. Wolfe, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Scott A. Saboe,
Sgt. John W. Russell, Spc. Ryan T. Baker, Spc. Jeremiah J.
DiGiovanni and Spc. William D. Dusenbery were aboard a UH-60 Black
Hawk when it collided with another over the Iraqi city of Mosul.
Seventeen members of the 101st "Screaming Eagles" division were
lost in the mishap. They were headed for a few days of rest and
relaxation in Kuwait when their helos went down.
More than a year after the tragedy, details are still scarce,
many of them classified. But the Pentagon has hinted that one of
the Black Hawks was hit by groundfire and struck the rotor blades
of the second helicopter.
The other soldiers lost in the tragedy were:
- Capt. Pierre E. Piche
- Chief Warrant Officer Erik C. Kesterson
- Sgt. Michael D. Acklin II
- Sgt. Warren S. Hansen
- Spc. Eugene A. Uhl III
- Spc. Ryan T. Baker
- Spc. John R. Sullivan
- Pfc. Sheldon R. Hawk Eagle
- Pfc. Damian L. Heidelberg
- Pfc. Richard W. Hafer
- Pfc. Joey D. Whitener
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