Christopher G. Campbell
Chief Petty Officer (SOC - SEAL) United States Navy
Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 705-11
DOD Identifies Service Members Killed In CH-47 Crash
The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of 30 servicemembers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. They died August 6, 2011 in Wardak province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when their CH-47 Chinook helicopter crashed.
The following sailors assigned to an East Coast-based Naval Special Warfare unit were killed:
Lieutenant Commander (SEAL) Jonas B. Kelsall, 32, of Shreveport, Louisiana
Special Warfare Operator Master Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Louis J. Langlais, 44, of Santa Barbara, California
Special Warfare Operator Senior Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Thomas A. Ratzlaff, 34, of Green Forest, Arkansas
Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Senior Chief Petty Officer (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist) Kraig M. Vickers 36, of Kokomo, Hawaii,
Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Brian R. Bill, 31, of Stamford, Connecticut
Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) John W. Faas, 31, of Minneapolis, Minnesota
Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Kevin A. Houston, 35, of West Hyannisport, Massachusetts
Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Matthew D. Mason, 37, of Kansas City, Missouri
Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Stephen M. Mills, 35, of Fort Worth, Texas,
Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Chief Petty Officer (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist/Diver) Nicholas H. Null, 30, of Washington, West Virginia
Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Robert J. Reeves, 32, of Shreveport, Louisiana
Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Heath M. Robinson, 34, of Detroit, Michigan
Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Darrik C. Benson, 28, of Angwin, California
Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL/Parachutist) Christopher G. Campbell, 36, of Jacksonville, North Carolina
Information Systems Technician Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist) Jared W. Day, 28, of Taylorsville, Utah,
Master-at-Arms Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist) John Douangdara, 26, of South Sioux City, Nebraska
Cryptologist Technician (Collection) Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist) Michael J. Strange, 25, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL/Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist) Jon T. Tumilson, 35, of Rockford, Iowa,
Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Aaron C. Vaughn, 30, of Stuart, Florida, and
Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Jason R. Workman, 32, of Blanding, Utah.
The following sailors assigned to a West Coast-based Naval Special Warfare unit were killed:
Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Jesse D. Pittman, 27, of Ukiah, California, and
Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 2nd Class (SEAL) Nicholas P. Spehar, 24, of Saint Paul, Minnesota
The soldiers killed were:
Chief Warrant Officer David R. Carter, 47, of Centennial, Colo. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), Aurora, Colorado
Chief Warrant Officer Bryan J. Nichols, 31, of Hays, Kan. He was assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), New Century, Kansas
Staff Sgt. Patrick D. Hamburger, 30, of Lincoln, Neb. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), Grand Island, Nebraska
Sgt. Alexander J. Bennett, 24, of Tacoma, Wash. He was assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), New Century, Kansas; and
Spc. Spencer C. Duncan, 21, of Olathe, Kan. He was assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), New Century, Kansas
The airmen killed were:
Tech. Sgt. John W. Brown, 33, of Tallahassee, Florida
Staff Sgt. Andrew W. Harvell, 26, of Long Beach, California; and
Tech. Sgt. Daniel L. Zerbe, 28, of York, Pennsylvania
All three airmen were assigned to the 24th Special Tactics Squadron, Pope Field, North Carolina
For more information about the sailors, media may contact Lieutenant Arlo Abrahamson at 757-763-2007 or 757-620-3109.
For more information on Carter, media may contact the Colorado National Guard public affairs office at 720-250-1053.
For more information on Nichols, Bennett and Duncan, media may contact the 11th Aviation Command public affairs office at 502-626-5746 or 502-851-3466.
For more information on Hamburger, media may contact the Nebraska National Guard public affairs office at 402-309-7302 or 402-309-7303.
For more information about the airmen, media may contact the Air Force Special Operations Command public affairs office at 850-884-5515.
UPDATE: August 12, 2011 -- Sergeant Hamburger was posthumously promoted
to Staff Sergeant.
Chris Campbell may have been physically slight, but family and friends said the Navy SEAL was always ready to take on a challenge.
Campbell, 36, was one of 22 SEALs killed Saturday along with eight other U.S. troops and eight Afghans when their helicopter was brought down in Afghanistan, his family told The Daily News of Jacksonville. The Pentagon has not yet identified the victims of the Chinook helicopter crash.
Campbell's parents said they planned to receive the body of their son earlier this week at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware when was to be flown in with the other troops killed in the crash. His father, Larry Campbell, said his son's wish was to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Though Chris Campbell grew up in the shadow of Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base in Jacksonville -- his father Larry was a career Marine who retired in 1993 as a master gunnery sergeant -- his father said he never pushed the idea of military service on his son.
But after graduating from White Oak High School in 1993, Chris Campbell told his father he planned to join the Navy and become a SEAL.
"So that's what he did and we have supported him," Larry Campbell said.
Diane Campbell, Chris's mother, said she remembered him and his older brother learning to ride a unicycle brought back from Okinawa as one example of her son's determination.
"If Chris thought he could, he would try," Diane Campbell said.
His former high school football coach Jack Baile also remembered Chris Campbell showing he was up to a test. Chris tried out for the team as a smallish junior at about 5 foot-7 and 140 pounds, Baile said.
"When kids come out for football for the first time, the first thing you're worried about is, are they going to like to be hit, or want to be hit, and like to hit. That was not a problem with Chris. He had no fear with that," Baile told The Associated Press. "He came out and he was very aggressive, so there was no problem with a boy his size playing football."
Baile said he remembered Campbell because he was a classmate of his son Joseph. The two shared friends and would see each other occasionally around holidays in recent years even as adulthood made keeping in touch more difficult, Baile said.
"I remember hearing for the first time when he had joined the SEALS, I thought that kind of fits Chris. He didn't have a lot of fear of things and I think he always wanted to try to prove to somebody that he could do things," said Baile, 70, of Jacksonville. "He was an adventurous-type guy."
Campbell's work frequently sent him on missions out of the country, and his family asked few questions when he showed up with a full beard or arrived for a visit that could only last three hours. In an email to his daughter Samantha sent days before the crash, he wrote that he was looking forward to coming home in November and celebrating her 15th birthday in January.
Chris Campbell told his family that if he was killed in the line of duty, he wanted the local newspaper to write about his life and death, with a request for donations in his memory to the Wounded Warrior Project . The project helps wounded service members recover from their war injuries.
"He's just that kind of a person; he wants to help people that need help. And I think wounded warriors need a lot of help and support," Diane Campbell said.
CAMPBELL, CHRISTOPHER G
Posted: 22 November 2011
Photos By Eileen Horan, November 2011