U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
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
UPDATE: August 12, 2011 — Sergeant Hamburger was posthumously promoted to Staff Sergeant.
Lou Langlais was a Navy SEAL, a precision parachute jumper and a rock climber who scaled cliffs, sometimes without a rope. With a striking ability to suppress fear, he was known for leading his comrades into dangerous situations with a sense of calm, confidence and even fun.
Over a 25-year career, Langlais rose to become a troop leader in the Navy SEALs' elite Team Six, the secretive unit that killed Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. And he was one of 30 Americans who lost their lives when their helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan on Aug. 6 — the deadliest day for U.S. troops in the nearly decade-long war.
VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA – U.S. Navy Master Chief Special Warfare Operator, (SEAL) Lou Langlais, 44, was killed in action Aug. 6, 2011, in Wardak Province, Eastern Afghanistan.
Born in Quebec, Canada, to the late Dr. Louis-Marie and Marguerite Langlais, he spent most of his childhood years in Santa Barbara, California.
Lou joined the Navy in 1986 and graduated from Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL Training Class 162, in February 1989. He was then assigned to SEAL Team THREE where he made multiple deployments throughout the world to include active participation in Operation Desert Storm.
Lou eventually followed his passion for skydiving and joined the Navy Parachute Team “The Leap Frogs,” a choice that ultimately led him to the love of his life, his wife Anya.
In March 2000, Lou joined the highly selective Naval Special Warfare Development Group. He deployed numerous times in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, distinguishing himself by earning five Bronze Stars with Valor, Purple Heart, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal with Valor, Joint Service Commendation Medal, three Navy and Marine Corps Achievement medals, three Combat Action Ribbons, three Presidential Unit Citations and various other campaign and unit decorations. Lou was an extremely talented SEAL operator, loyal friend and dedicated patriot who loved his family and his job.
He is survived by his loving wife, their two sons, sister, two brothers, and the entire Naval Special Warfare family. A funeral will be held Thursday, August 18, at 10 a.m. in the chapel at the Little Creek Joint Expeditionary Base, Virginia Beach. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to the Lou Langlais Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 3100, Merrifield, Virginia 22119-3100.
Master Chief Langlais, 44, was a native of Santa Barbara, California. He enlisted in the United States Navy in June, 1986.
After graduating Recruit Training Command at San Diego, California in September, 1986, he reported to the USS Wadsworth (FFG 9) where he served until January, 1989. In February of 1989, he reported to Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training at Coronado, California. After graduating BUD/S in October, 1989, he reported to a West Coast based SEAL Team until January, 1997. He then joined the Navy Parachute Team where he served until February of 2000. He then served in several East Coast based SEAL teams over the next 10 years until his death in 2011.
Master Chief Langlais’ awards include the Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V” device for valor (4), Joint Service Commendation Medal(2) one with Combat “V” device for valor, Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal (3), Combat Action Ribbon (3), Presidential Unit Citation, Good Conduct Medal (7), National Defense Service Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal (2), Afghanistan Campaign Medal (3), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (7) Rifle Marksmanship Medal, and Pistol Marksmanship Medal.
Commander, Naval Special Warfare Command, Rear Admiral Sean A. Pybus, released the following statement:
“ Early Saturday morning, Aug. 6, Naval Special Warfare suffered a tremendous loss of 22 men while conducting critical special operations combat in Afghanistan. They cannot be replaced. We will honor their service and sacrifice, and embrace their families as our own, in this time of immeasurable grief. The outpouring of support and sympathy from the Armed Services, the Government, Communities and the Public is well beyond my ability to properly thank. The Naval Special Warfare Community is deeply humbled and appreciative.
Our NSW men were in company with U.S. Army aircrew, U.S. Air Force para-rescue and combat controllers, and an Afghan security element. We grieve for all of them, and admire their teamwork, commitment and courage. I have great hope for the future knowing that extraordinary men dedicate themselves completely to the idea and the actions of freedom and security, not only for ourselves but for others. We are truly blessed that such men answer a call to military service at the highest levels of professionalism and capability, but also deeply saddened by their loss. In the days and weeks ahead, I would ask for your thoughts, prayers and support for NSW, our Families, the Special Operations Community, and all of our Armed Forces.”
- SOCM US NAVY
- DATE OF BIRTH: 10/05/1966
- DATE OF DEATH: 08/06/2011
- BURIED AT: SECTION 60 SITE 9936
- 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