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The Pentagon released the names of 14 soldiers killed or labeled “whereabouts unknown” after an Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter went down April 6 in a heavy sandstorm in Afghanistan.

Friends and families had been waiting anxiously for five days for the announcement as military officials worked to notify next of kin.

It is Defense Department policy to hold the names of those killed for 24 hours after the immediate family has been notified.

The names of three civilian contractors were also announced, although the name of a Marine who was also aboard the flight is still being withheld.

V Corps’ Germany-based 12th Aviation Brigade bore the heaviest burden with five killed in the accident. The brigade is the parent command for the only Chinook company based in Europe, affectionately known by the troops as “Big Windy.”

Four of the dead were from the newly arrived Southern European Task Force which had just taken over duties Afghanistan after arriving from its home station in northern Italy in recent weeks.

Two of the killed were from the outbound Hawaii-based 25th Infantry Division, which is just wrapping up its yearlong tour in Afghanistan. The rest of the Army fatalities were from Reserve and National Guard units.

Those killed:

Maj. Edward J. Murphy, 36, of South Carolina. Murphy was assigned to the U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Camp Ederle, Italy.Chief Warrant Officer David Ayala, 24, of New York, N.Y. Ayala was assigned to the Company F, 159th Aviation Regiment, 12th Aviation Brigade, Giebelstadt, Germany.Chief Warrant Officer Clint J. Prather, 32, of Cheney, Wash. Prather was assigned to the Company F, 159th Aviation Regiment, 12th Aviation Brigade, Giebelstadt, Germany.Master Sgt. Edwin A. Matoscolon, 42, of Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico. Matoscolon was assigned to Division Artillery, 25th Infantry Division (Light), Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.Staff Sgt. Charles R. Sanders Jr., 29, of Charleston, Mo. Sanders was assigned to the Company F, 159th Aviation Regiment, 12th Aviation Brigade, Giebelstadt, Germany.Spc. Daniel J. Freeman, 20, of Cincinnati, Ohio. Freeman was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 508th Infantry Regiment, Camp Ederle, Italy.Spc. Chrystal G. Stout, 23, of Travelers Rest, S.C. Stout was assigned to the Army National Guard’s 228th Signal Brigade, Spartanburg, S.C.Pfc. Pendelton L. Sykes II, 25, of Chesapeake, Va. Sykes was assigned to the Company F, 159th Aviation Regiment, 12th Aviation Brigade, Giebelstadt, Germany.Missing are:

Capt. David S. Connolly, 37, of Boston, Mass. Connolly is assigned to the Army Reserve’s 1173rd Transportation Terminal Battalion, Brockton, Mass.Sgt. Maj. Barbaralien Banks, 41, of Harvey, La. Banks is assigned to Division Artillery, 25th Infantry Division (Light), Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.Staff Sgt. Romanes L. Woodard, 30, of Hertford, N.C. Woodard is assigned to the 1st Battalion, 508th Infantry Regiment, Camp Ederle, Italy.Sgt. Stephen C. High, 45, of Spartanburg, S.C. High is assigned to the Army National Guard’s 228th Signal Brigade, Spartanburg, S.C.Spc. Michael K. Spivey, 21, of Fayetteville, N.C. Spivey is assigned to the Company F, 159th Aviation Regiment, 12th Aviation Brigade, Giebelstadt, Germany.Spc. Sascha Struble, 20, of Philadelphia, N.Y. Struble is assigned to the 1st Battalion, 508th Infantry Regiment, Camp Ederle, Italy.The last six soldiers are still formally listed as “Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown” but presumed dead.

Eighteen bodies were pulled from the wreckage about 80 miles south of Kabul in Afghanistan’s Ghazni province, according to Maj. Elizabeth Robbins, an Army spokeswoman at the Pentagon.

“We are still the process of positively identifying the remains,” she said.

One Marine also was killed.

Jimmy Shawn Lee, 26, of Mount Vernon, Ind., was scheduled to return home next week, his mother told the Evansville (Ind.) Courier & Press on Thursday. No rank was available.Three civilian contractors for Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root were also killed on the ill-fated flight. According to Halliburton spokeswoman Beverly Scippa, they were:

Ronald Wade, 46, a civil foreman from Emory, Texas.Lance Bret, 56, vector control specialist from Spring Valley, Calif.Sy Jason Lucio, 28, an electrician from Clyde, Ohio.The three civilian fatalities bring to 62 the number of Halliburton employees killed in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan, said Scippa.

The crash was the deadliest incident so far in Afghanistan. Eight soldiers died in January 2004 from accidental explosions at an arms dump south of Kabul.


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