Alexander James Bennett – Sergeant, United States Army

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U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
News Release

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 705-11
August 11, 2011

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

UPDATE:  August 12, 2011 — Sergeant Hamburger was posthumously promoted to Staff Sergeant.


Sergeant Alexander James Bennett Of Tacoma, Washington, was killed in action on August 6, 2011 with 29 other American soldiers aboard a Chinook helicopter while serving with B Company 7th/158th on Extortion 17.

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Alex was born on October 31, 1986 and grew up attending Life Christian Academy before attending the Curtis School District. Alex loved flying, the army, and cars – especially Honda Civics.

Alex joined the Washington National Guard in 2004. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves in 2007 and served a tour in Iraq in 2009. At his request, he joined B Company out of Fort Riley, Kansas, to further advance his career as Chinook Crew Chief and hoped to become a pilot. He deployed to Afghanistan in spring 2011.

Alex's awards include: Combat Action Badge, Aviation Crewmember Badge (Basic), National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with “M” device, Good Conduct Medal, Air Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and Purple Heart.

Alex was well-loved by all who had the pleasure of meeting him. He was notorious for making people laugh – either with pranks, his infectious grin, or his wit. One fellow soldier recalls an incident where Alex kept the crew calm with his humor as they lost hydraulic fluid over a large lake. He loved being a soldier and lived his life to the fullest.

Alex is survived by his mother Kim Robertson, father Lieutenant Colonel Douglas Bennett (Elsa), step-siblings Kathryn Bennett and Austin Bennett, grandparents Don and Doylene Bennett and Theresa Cali, great-grandmom Rachel Macon, uncle Greg Bennett (Joy), aunt Robyn McElligott (Thomas), uncle John Michael Cali, many cousins, his best friend Josh McLean, mentor/platoon leader Sergeant First Class Kirk Kuykendall, many friends and fellow soldiers. A memorial will be held locally at Life Center Church of Tacoma at 3:00 pm on Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011. Donations requested to the Wounded Warrior Project in SGT Alex Bennett's name – an organization he supported and believed in. For more information visit www.woundedwarriorproject.org or mail your donations to:Wounded Warrior Project, Attn: Donor Services, 4899 Belfort Rd, Suite 300, Jacksonville, Florida 33256

BENNETT, ALEXANDER
SGT   US ARMY
AFGHANISTAN

  • DATE OF BIRTH: 10/31/1986
  • DATE OF DEATH: 08/06/2011
  • BURIED AT: SECTION 60  SITE 9942
    ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY

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