Jonas Benton Kelsall
Lieutenant Commander (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
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.
LONG BEACH (CBS) — The son of one of the business leaders in the city of Lakewood was among 30 Navy SEALs who was killed in Afghanistan this weekend, according to a report Monday.
Lieutenant Commander Jonas Kelsall, 33, is the son of John Kelsall, the president and CEO of The Greater Lakewood Chamber of Commerce.
The Lakewood connection was first reported
by the Long Beach Beachcomber newspaper on its website.
Jonas Benton Kelsall bio
Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy
Naval Special Warfare Group TWO
Lieutenant Commander Kelsall, 32, was a native of Shreveport, Louisiana. He enlisted in the United States Navy in September 1996.
After graduating Recruit Training Command at Great Lakes, Illinois in December, 1996, he reported to Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL Training in Coronado, California. Soon after graduating BUD/S in August, 1997, he attended Naval Recruit Officer Training Corps at the University of Texas until September, 2001. He then reported to Naval Special Warfare Advanced Training Command in Coronado, California for follow-on training and was then assigned to a West Coast based SEAL Team until April, 2008. He reported to his East Coast based SEAL Team in May, 2008.
Lieutenant Commander Kelsall’s awards include Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V” device for valor (2), Joint Service Commendation Medal with Combat “V” device for valor, Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal (3), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Rifle Marksmanship Medal, and Pistol Marksmanship Medal.
SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA - Lieutenant Commander Jonas B. Kelsall was born on November 8, 1978, in Shreveport, Louisiana. He was killed in action in Afghanistan on August 6, 2011, fighting for his country as a United States Navy SEAL. Jonas committed every day of his life to the happiness of his wife, Victoria; family; and friends; as well as to service for his country.
Fast friends with all he met, Jonas was a magnetic storyteller who shared his compassion, humor, and energy with those around him. Full of spontaneity, he was known for surprising his loved ones, whether with playful pranks or unexpected acts of kindness—such as flying halfway around the world to surprise Victoria and her family on Christmas Eve.
Jonas led a fulfilling life with his wife, family, friends, and teammates. Devoted to his family, he and Victoria prioritized spending time with them in California, Texas, Virginia, and Michigan. He also took great pride in his job and valued the commitment, skill, loyalty, and friendship of his teammates. Despite spending a great deal of time on deployment, Jonas never considered his job a sacrifice, but instead a great honor. When not working, he enjoyed traveling with Victoria to places such as France, Belgium, Portugal, China, Israel and Turkey. Throughout all of his travels, however, Jonas was always happy to return home to the United States, and often expressed how fortunate he felt to be an American.
Jonas enlisted in the Navy after graduating from Caddo Magnet High School in Shreveport, where he excelled in soccer. Jonas completed Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training in Coronado, California, in 1997. He then attended the University of Texas at Austin as a member of the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps, along with his future wife, Victoria. Jonas and Victoria discovered their interest in travel and love for one another while studying abroad in Paris, France.
Jonas received his Navy commission in 2001 and was one of the original plank owners of a West Coast based SEAL Team in Coronado, California. Jonas and Victoria were married in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2007 and in 2008, after an arduous training and selection process, Jonas reported to his East Coast based SEAL team as troop commander.
During his numerous deployments in support of the War on Terror, Jonas was awarded a Legion of Merit, two Bronze Star Medals with Combat "V" Devices for Valor, a Purple Heart, a Joint Service Commendation Medal with Combat "V" Device for Valor, three Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, two Joint Service Achievement Medals and numerous other personal and unit decorations.
Jonas is survived by his wife, Victoria Jennings Kelsall of McLean, Virginia; his parents John and Teri Kelsall, who currently reside in Los Angeles; and sister Kim Kelsall, a native of Shreveport, Louisiana. He will be eternally loved and remembered by his wife, family, friends and teammates.
A private memorial will be held in Shreveport, Louisiana. and a private funeral will be held in Falls Church, Virginia. The burial will take place at Arlington National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that you consider a donation to the Navy SEAL Foundation "Jonas Kelsall Fund", 1619 D Street, Bldg. 5326, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23459.
KELSALL, JONAS B
Posted: 22 April 2012
Photos By Eileen Horan, September 2012