Veterans Pals (VetPals) extends its heart felt sympathy and prayers to the families and friends of four Marines who died on April 3, 2018 in a helicopter training accident in California and an Air Force Thunderbirds pilot who died April 4, 2018 in an F-16 aircraft crash in Nevada.
Left to right Captain Samuel A. Schultz, 1st Lt. Samuel D. Phillips, Gunnery Sergeant Derik R. Holley, Lance Corporal Taylor J. Conrad
The four Marines killed were from the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing's 465th squadron located at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California. They were killed when their CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter carshed during a training mission approximately 15 miles west of El Centro, California. They have been identified as Captain Samuel A. Schultz, 28 from Pennsylvania, 1st Lt. Samuel D. Phillips, 27 from North Carolina, Gunnery Sergeant Derik R. Holley, 33 from Ohio, and Lance Corporal Taylor J. Conrad, 24 from Louisana. Schultz and Phillips were both pilots. The CH-53E is the heaviest and largest helicopter used by any US military service. The cause of the crash is under investigation.
Air Force Thunderbird Pilot Killed
Major Stephen Del Bagno
The Air Force identified the Thunderbirds pilot killed as Major Stephen Del Bagno. He was killed around 10:30am Las Vegas, NV time on April 4th. He was graduated from Utah Valley State University in 2005 and was an experienced pilot in his first season with the Thunderbirds. His slot pilot position was the team's No. 4 jet. He had logged more than 3,500 total flight hours.