Jeanette Lee Winters – Sergeant, United States Marine Corps

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

January 09, 2002


The Department of Defense announced that the following Marines were killed as a result of the crash of a KC-130/R aircraft in Pakistan today:

Command Pilot: Captain Matthew W. Bancroft, 29, of Shasta, California. He joined the Marine Corps in 1994.
Co-Pilot: Captain Daniel G. McCollum, 29, of Richland, South Carolina He joined the Marine Corps in 1993.
Flight Engineer: Gunnery Sergeant Stephen L. Bryson, 35, of Montgomery, Alabama. He joined the Marine Corps in 1983.
Loadmaster: Staff Sergeant Scott N. Germosen, 37, of Queens, New York. He joined the Marine Corps in 1982.
Flight Mechanic: Sergeant Nathan P. Hays, 21, of Lincoln, Washington. He joined the Marine Corps in 1999.
Flight Navigator: Lance Corporal Bryan P. Bertrand, 23, of Coos Bay, Oregon. He joined the Marine Corps in 1998.
Radio Operator: Sergeant Jeannette L. Winters, 25, of Du Page, Illinois. She joined the Marine Corps in 1997.

The Marines are assigned to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 352 (VMGR-352), the “Raiders.” Elements of VMGR-352 are attached to Combined Task Force 58, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. VMGR-352 is home-based at the Marine Corps Air Station, Miramar, California.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

When he saw the faces of the four Marines on the doorstep of his Gary, Indiana, home Matthew Winters. braced for the worst. ” I thought it was about my son, ” says Winters, 55, referring to Matthew Jr., a sergeant who was stationed in Yuma, Arizona, and could have been deployed to Afghanistan. But the honor guard's grim news concerned another of his children. Sergeant Jeanette L. Winters, 25, a radio operator who was usually far from combat, was one of the seven Marines who perished January 9, 2002, when their plane crashed in southwestern Pakistan – and the first U.S. servicewoman to die in the war on terrorism. ” She was my daughter,” says the elder Winters, blinking back tears. ” It hurt so bad.”It remains unclear just why the four-engine KC – 130, a plane used to refuel others while in flight, struck a mountainside and exploded as it approached an airfield in the town of Shamsi. But to those who knew Winters, there is little doubt that she died a hero. “She was one in a million,” says First Lieutenant  Jeni Froehlich, 31, Winters's platoon leader at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego. In 1997 she followed her brother into the Marine Corps. “She had seen me in my uniform,” says Matthew Jr., who signed up in 1992,” and had seen the prestige that comes with that..”

Winters flourished in the corps, training as a radio operator before being assigned to a unit in Cherry Point, North Carolina. Last winter she re-upped for a second tour of duty and in June transferred to the Marine Wings Squadron at Miramar. There is impressed surpriors with her me-last attitude. ” She always wanted to take care of people,” says Captain Steven Pacheco, 30, her company commander. When two younger radio men were shipped to Afghanistan last fall, “she worked nonstop for a day and a half to train them,” says Lieutenant Froehlich. “I don't think she slept.”

Before going overseas, Winters assembled a package of Christmas gifts for her family, among them a coat,gloves and a hat for a 2-year old niece she had never met and a guitar for her father, once a professional musician. “The guitar means the world to me,” says Matthew Sr. He will never play duets with his daughter, but he finds some comfort in the knowledge that “she loved what she was doing. She served her country.”

The following Marines gave their all on January 9, 2002

Lance Corporal Bryan Bertrand
Gunnery Sergeant. Stephen L. Bryson
Captain Matthew W. Bancroft
Staff Sergeant Scott N. Germosen
Sergeant Nathan P. Hays
Captain Daniel G. McCollum


  • VETERAN SERVICE DATES: 02/18/1997 – 01/09/2002
  • DATE OF BIRTH: 05/04/1976
  • DATE OF DEATH: 01/09/2002
  • DATE OF INTERMENT: 03/12/2002


Read our general and most popular articles

Leave a Comment