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New Hampshire native among 5 Marines killed in helicopter crash in California mountains

DOVER, N.H. — A New Hampshire native is among five U.S. Marines who were killed in a helicopter crash in the California mountains, the military confirmed Friday.

Capt. Jack Casey, 26, of Dover, New Hampshire, a CH-53E helicopter pilot, died in a “CH-53E helicopter mishap,” military officials said.

Casey was commissioned in the Marine Corps on May 16, 2019, military officials said. He was promoted to the rank of Captain on Sept. 1, 2023. His decorations include the National Defense Service Medal.

”Capt. Jack Casey gave his life while serving his country,” Gov. Chris Sununu said in a statement on Friday.

“Valerie and I are deeply saddened as we mourn the loss of these five Marines,” Sununu said. “Capt. Jack Casey’s death is a profound loss for his family, his community, New Hampshire, and the country. I have directed all flags on all public buildings and grounds in the State of New Hampshire to fly at half-staff on the day of interment.”

“Where he was headed at 26 [years old], you can imagine where he would be at 36,” said Dover Mayor Robert Carrier. “It’s sad. It’s terrible, but he will be remembered. He will be recognized.”

St. Thomas Aquinas High School President Paul Marquis said Casey graduated from the school in 2015.

“It’s a tragic, tragic, very sad story,” Marquis said. “Capt. Casey was a very important member, gave back to his community here, meant so much to so many.”

Four other Marines were killed in the crash: Lance Cpl. Donovan Davis, 21, of Olathe, Kansas, a CH-53E helicopter crew chief; Sgt. Alec Langen, 23, of Chandler, Arizona, a CH-53E helicopter crew chief; Capt. Benjamin Moulton, 27, of Emmett, Idaho, a CH-53E helicopter pilot; and Capt. Miguel Nava, 28, of Traverse City, Michigan, a CH-53E helicopter pilot.

All were assigned to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361, Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing and were based at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California.

“We have been confronted with a tragedy that is every service family’s worst fear,” said Lt. Col. Nicholas J. Harvey, commanding officer of HMH-361. “Our top priority now is supporting the families of our fallen heroes, and we ask for your respect and understanding as they grieve. The Flying Tigers family stands strong and includes the friends and community who have supported our squadron during this challenging time. We will get through this together.”

At the time of the mishap, the CH-53E and crew were conducting routine flight training, officials said.

The mishap is currently under investigation.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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