DOD identifies two soldiers killed in copter crash in Iraq
January 21, 2006
TIKRIT, Iraq — The Pentagon on Friday released the names of two 4th Infantry Division pilots killed when their helicopter was shot down Jan. 16 north of Baghdad.
The soldiers were identified as Chief Warrant Officer 3 Rex C. Kenyon and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Ruel Mamaril.
Both were assigned to 1st Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment (Attack), Combat Aviation Brigade of the Fort Hood, Texas-based division. Their AH-64D Apache was shot down by ground fire, officials confirmed.
The crash was the third in 10 days for U.S. forces. Of the other two, one was believed to be caused by weather, the other by weapons fire, according to military officials.
Unconfirmed reports run by several news agencies said that the aftermath of Monday’s crash had deadly effects in towns near the crash site.
Iraqi police officials in a town near Dujail said detours caused by the crash were attacked by insurgents, who checked identification cards and reportedly killed as many as three dozen Iraqis.
“Most of the victims were Iraqi police, soldiers or commandos, their identity documents being spotted by gunmen who stopped and searched them at checkpoints,” police Lt. Dalton al-Asthenia was quoted as saying.
Mamaril, 34, of Wahiawa, Hawaii, was remembered by family as a dedicated pilot who had recently been married.
Known to his family as Ruel Garcia, the pilot was a native of the Philippines who moved to Hawaii to live his dream of being an Army aviator.
This was Mamaril’s second tour in Iraq, officials said.
There was no information available about Kenyon’s family. Kenyon, 34, listed El Segundo, Calif., as his hometown in military records.