Soldiers ID’d in fatal Black Hawk crash on San Clemente Island



Two soldiers killed in an Army Black Hawk helicopter crash on San Clemente Island earlier this week were identified Saturday.

Staff Sgt. Vincent Marketta, 33, of Brick, N.J., and Sgt. Tyler Shelton, 22, of San Bernardino, were both Black Hawk helicopter repairers assigned to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) with headquarters at Fort Campbell, Ky.

“The loss of Staff Sgt. Marketta and Sgt. Shelton has left a scar in this Regiment that will never completely heal,” Col. Andrew Graham, commander of the 160th regiment, said in a statement. “Our priority now is to ensure the Families of our fallen warriors receive our complete support as we work through this tragedy together.”

The Army did not release any information about the crash, which occurred off the Southern California coast. Five soldiers were on the aircraft when it went down Thursday, a Defense Department official with knowledge of the incident told the San Diego Union-Tribune on Friday. Three soldiers were injured.

Marketta enlisted in 2011 and deployed to Afghanistan and multiple times to Iraq, the Army said. His awards include the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal with “V” for valor.

Shelton enlisted in 2016 and deployed to Afghanistan, and his awards include the Army Good Conduct Medal and Afghanistan Campaign Medal.

Both soldiers will receive the Meritorious Service Medal posthumously, the Army said.

San Clemente Island is managed by the Navy and used for training. It has an airfield, special operations training area and a bombing range.

Eight Marines and one sailor died late last month when their Marine assault amphibious vehicle sank off the coast of the island during training.

Both incidents are under investigation.

Dyer writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune.



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