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Capt. Lyle Gordon was killed Jan. 26 when the CH-53E helicopter crashed near Rutbah, Iraq. An investigation found that the crew of the CH-53E became disoriented when weather turned bad, did not realize the helicopter was banking to the left, and flew the aircraft into the ground. Twenty-nine Marines and one sailor also were killed.
Four Marines from HMM-361 also lost their lives;
Captain Paul Alaniz
Capt. Lyle Gordon
Staff Sgt. Dexter Kimble
LCpl. Tony Hernandez
The Marines lost from BLT 1/3 in the helicopter crash were:
1st Lt. Travis J. Fuller, 26, a native of Granville, Mass.
1st Lt. Dustin M. Shumney, 30, a native of Viellejo, Calif.
Staff Sgt. Brian D. Bland, 26, from Westion, Wyo.
Sgt. Michael W. Finke Jr., 28, from Huron, Ohio
Cpl. Richard A. Gilbert Jr., 26, a native of Montgomery, Ohio
LCpl. Stephen P. Johnson, 24, from Covina, Calif.
Cpl. Timothy A. Knight, 22, a native of Brooklyn, Ohio
Cpl. Timothy M. Gibson, 23, from Hillsborough, N.H.
Cpl. Sean P. Kelly, 23, from Gloucester, N.J.
Cpl. Kyle J. Grimes, 21, a native of North Hampton, Penn.
Cpl. Nathaniel K. Moore, 22, from Champaign, Ill.
Cpl. James L. Moore, 24, a native of Roseburg, Ore.
Cpl. Nathan A. Schubert, 22, from Cherokee, Iowa
Cpl. Matthew R. Smith, 24, a native of West Valley, Utah
Petty Officer 3rd Class John D. House, 28, from Ventura, Calif.
LCpl. Brian C. Hopper 21, a native of Wynne, Ark.
LCpl. Jonathan E. Etterling, 22, from Wheelersburg, Ohio
LCpl. Fred L. Maciel, 20, a native of Spring, Texas
LCpl. Allan Klein, 34, from Clinton Township, Mich.
LCpl. Gael Saintvil, 24, a native of Orange, Fl.
LCpl. Mourad Ragimov, 20, from San Diego, Calif.
LCpl. Rhonald Rairdan, 20, a native of San Antonio, Texas
LCpl. Saeed Jafarkhani-turshizi, 25, from Fort Worth, Texas
LCpl Hector Ramos, 20, a native of Aurora, Ill.
LCpl. Darrell J. Schumann, 25, from Hampton, Va.
LCpl. Joseph P. Spence, 24, from Scotts Valley, Calif.
Cpl. Michael L. Starr Jr., 21, a native of Baltimore, Md.
* Capt. Lyle L. Gordon of Midlothian, Texas, had been looking skyward his whole life. According to his parents, Dicky and Mary Gordon, the dream was there long before their son got his wings â?? even as he was playing high school football and baseball, and through his time as a student at Texas A&M. And what Gordon, 30, loved to fly most after he got those pilots wings, the couple said, was flying the CH-53 Super Stallion for the Marines. But in wartime things can go very wrong even when the enemy isn't firing. Gordon knew the risks of being a pilot, said his dad. "He never wanted us to worry about it," he said. Added his mother, "I just accepted that was his station in life and all I could do was support him. I'd already told him he was a hero and that he was brave, and I was honored to be his mother."
* Assigned to 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Miramar, Calif.