NEWS RELEASES from the United States Department of Defense
No. 696-07 IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 04, 2007
DoD Identifies Army Casualties
The Department of Defense announced today the death of five soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. They died May 30, 2007, in Upper Sangin Valley, Afghanistan, when their helicopter crashed apparently due to enemy fire. They were assigned to the 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion, 82nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Chief Warrant Officer Christopher M. Allgaier, 33, of Omaha, Nebraska
Chief Warrant Officer Joshua R. Rodgers, 29, of Carson City, Nevada
Staff Sergeant Charlie L. Bagwell, 28, of Lake Toxaway, North Carolina
Sergeant Jesse A. Blamires, 25, of West Jordan, Utah
Sergeant Brandon E. Hadaway, 25, of Valley, Alabama
For more informationrelated to this release the media may contact the 82nd Airborne Division public affairs office at (910) 432-0661; after hours (910) 303-0691.
1 June 2007:
A long time rsident of St. Louis, Missouri, was one of those killed this week in the crash of a helicopter in Afghanistan.
Officials said five soldiers killed this week in the crash of a transport helicopter in Afghanistan were members of the 82nd Airborne Division. A spokesman for NATO's International Security Assistance Force said on Friday that 30 or more members from the 82nd Airborne had been dropped off by the helicopter shortly before it went down late Wednesday.
Chief Warrant Officer Chris Allgaier, 33, was among the dead.
He is survived by a wife and three children. His family lives in North Carolina.
U.S. military officials have said that initial reports suggest the helicopter was hit with a rocket-propelled grenade but that enemy fire was one of several possibilities. A spokesman for the division said investigators still don't know why the helicopter crashed.
The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack.
5 June 2007:
Jennie Allgaier received flowers and an anniversary card from her husband, Chief Warrant Officer Chris Allgaier, on Saturday, three days after he was killed in Afghanistan.
Allgaier, 33 a long time resident of St. Louis, Missouri, was one of the five paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division killed Wednesday in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.
Also killed in the crash were Chief Warrant Officer Joshua R. Rodgers, 29, of Carson City, Nevada; Staff Sergeant Charlie L. Bagwell, 28, of Lake Toxaway; Sgt. Jesse A. Blamires, 25, of West Jordan, Utah; and Sgt. Brandon E. Hadaway, 25, of Valley, Alabama.
All were members of B Company, 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade.
Their Chinook crashed Wednesday after dropping off as many as 40 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne, according to news reports.
Army officials said the cause of the crash remains under investigation, but Bagwell’s father said that Fort Bragg officials told him Thursday that the helicopter was shot down by a rocket-propelled grenade.
The five soldiers were the crew of the CH-47 Chinook, a transport helicopter with two rotors. It ferries ground forces, supplies, ammunition and other cargo around the battlefield.
Allgaier was one of two pilots. He graduated from Parks College of Saint Louis University in 1995 and was working on a masters from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Allgaier joined the Army in 1997 and reported to the 82nd in April 2006.
He loved aviation and joined the Army because it gave him the best opportunity to fly, his wife said in a statement.
“Losing Chris will definitely leave a void in the aviation community that can’t be filled by anybody else,” said Chief Warrant Officer Paul Wetzel in a statement. “There will be other pilots in the future, but none will ever equal Chris Allgaier.”
He also is survived by his three daughters, Natalie, Gina and Joanna.
“We are comforted by knowing how much he loves us,” his wife, Jennie Allgaier, said.
Allgaier deployed to Afghanistan in 2003 and Iraq in 2005.
“He was a wonderful father. Although he spent less time physically with his girls than most fathers would get to spend with their children, they always knew how very much he loved them and how very proud of them he was,” Jennie Allgaier, said. “He left them with many, many happy memories.”
Rodgers was Allgaier’s co-pilot who just joined the unit in February.
Like Allgaier, he was very proud of his family.
“Josh always talked about his three princesses. He strove to provide them everything they ever needed, and even more,” Chief Warrant Officer Heath Barrett said in a statement.
Rodgers joined the Army in April 2000 and completed flight training in 2004.
“Josh died with courage defending what he believed in,” said Barrett. “He died protecting those he loved most in this world. Josh died being the best soldier he knew how to be.”
Rodgers is survived by his wife, Casey L. Rodgers; his daughters, Madison, Autumn and Ashlyn; and his mother, Deborah J. Walker.
Efforts to reach his wife and mother were unsuccessful.
The other three crew members — Bagwell, Hadaway and Blamires — were flight engineers.
Blamires dreamt of being an astronaut and would often spend off nights gazing at the stars, friends in the unit said in a statement.
He was extremely intelligent and his unit mates remember how he was always correcting them.
“His intelligence sometimes got the best of him, and the best of us,” said Staff Sergeant Ronald Walton. “His famous words: ‘Well, actually,’ will never be forgotten.”
Blamires joined the Army in March 2003 and reported to the 82nd in April 2006.
This was his second combat deployment. He deployed to Iraq from January to November 2005.
Blamires is survived by his wife, Kimberly R. Blamires; his daughters, Kalli and Danika; and his parents, Craig and Sandra Blamires.
Calls to his family were unanswered.
Hadaway was a gregarious guy who liked a good laugh, his unit mates said.
“Brandon was a big ol’ teddy bear,” Staff Sgt. Ronald E. Walton said in a statement. “He could get upset at times but, for the most part, he was always joking and having fun with the guys.”
He joined the Army in January 2002 and reported to the 82nd in April 2006. He deployed to Iraq in 2005.
“He lived his life to the fullest and died doing his duty, fighting for freedom for the people of Afghanistan,” Chief Warrant Officer Dave Cox said.
Hadaway is survived by his wife, Rachel L. Hadaway; his sons, Levi and Dillon; his stepson, Hunter; and his parents, Lester and Karon Hadaway.
Efforts to contact his family were unsuccessful.
Bagwell was liked by everyone who knew him, his unit mate said.
“You couldn’t help but like Charlie. He was just one of those people you rarely meet that leave a lasting impression on you. I will truly miss him and there will never be anyone like him,” Cox said in a statement.
Before joining the Army in 1998, he was a standout high school football player from Transylvania County, Lane Bagwell, told the Associated Press.
He is survived by his wife, Lorelie L. Bagwell; his son, Preston Owen; and his parents, Lane and Judith Bagwell.
A memorial service for the five paratroopers was held Saturday in Afghanistan.
8 June 2007:
Allgaier, 33, was one of five soldiers killed in the crash of a transport helicopter in Afghanistan who were members of the 82nd Airborne Division.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church.
Allgaier will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on June 18, 2007.
ALLGAIER, CHRISTOPHER MICHAEL
- CW3 US ARMY
- DATE OF BIRTH: 07/25/1973
- DATE OF DEATH: 05/30/2007
- BURIED AT: SECTION 60 SITE 8447
- ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard