News, via the Joint Task Force 505 from KATHMANDU, Nepal, May 17, 2015 – Joint Task Force 505 officials have identified the six U.S. Marines who were killed along with two Nepalese soldiers when their UH-1Y Huey helicopter crashed in the mountains of Nepal May 12.
Once identified as the crash site, Nepalese Special Forces stood watch over our fallen Marines and their Nepalese Army comrades-in-arms throughout the night, till recovery efforts could be mounted.
Capt. Dustin R. Lukasiewicz, a UH-1Y pilot with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 469, Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Camp Pendleton, California, and a native of Nebraska;
Capt. Christopher L. Norgren, a UH-1Y pilot with HMLA-469, Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Camp Pendleton, California, and a native of Kansas;
Sgt. Ward M. Johnson, IV, a UH-1Y helicopter crew chief with HMLA-469, Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Camp Pendleton, California, and a native of Florida;
Sgt. Eric M. Seaman, a UH-1Y helicopter crew chief with HMLA-469, Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Camp Pendleton, California, and a native of California;
-- Cpl. Sara A. Medina, a combat photographer with Marine Corps Installations Pacific, Okinawa, Japan, and a native of Illinois; and
-- Lance Cpl. Jacob A. Hug, a combat videographer with Marine Corps Installations Pacific, Okinawa, Japan, and a native of Arizona.
Today at approximately 10:00 a.m. Nepal Standard Time, Nepalese soldiers and service members from Joint Task Force 505 safely recovered the fallen U.S. and Nepalese service members to the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, Nepal.
The soldiers and Marines were honorably received at TIA and will be transported to the appropriate medical facilities to be properly identified by mortuary affairs personnel.
JTF 505 Commander Marine Corps Lt. Gen John E. Wissler thanked the people of Nepal and the Nepalese armed forces for their selfless dedication in the search and recovery of the fallen service members.
"I am honored to serve alongside the Nepalese soldiers and to call them my friends" he said.
"You never hesitated in the joint effort to bring our brothers home. Everyone united -- the soldiers hiking through hazardous terrain, the pilots flying in uncertain weather conditions and the Nepalese special forces standing watch over our Marines on a mountainside at night,” Wissler said. “We honor our fallen comrades through our unselfish support to each other in this time of grief."
The fallen service members were "courageous, selfless individuals dedicated to the international Humanitarian Aid mission here in Nepal whose memories will live on through the lives they touched during this disaster relief operation and in their previous service to their countries," he said.
JTF 505 arrived in Nepal April 29 to conduct humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations following the April 25 magnitude-7.8 earthquake. The helicopter crashed about 8 miles north of Charikot, Nepal, while supporting casualty evacuations following a second earthquake of magnitude 7.3 that occurred May 12.