Update: DoD Officially Confirms Parkersburg Native Killed In U.S. Helicopter Crash In Afghanistan

By: WTAP News, The Associated Press
By: WTAP News, The Associated Press

Sen. Joe Manchin releases statement honoring Chief Petty Officer Null:
UPDATE: 8/19/11 10:19 A.M.

The remains of Chief Petty Officer Null will arrive today from Dover Air Force Base, Del. to The Mid Ohio Valley Regional Airport.

A police escort and Patriot Guard Rider contingent will escort Null from the airport to Sunset Memory Funeral Home in Parkersburg.

The family has requested no media coverage at the airport, but are encouraging the public to pay respects by viewing the motorcade at any point along this route:

From the MOV Regional Airport
1-77S
Take Exit 173 for W Virginia 96/Camden Ave.
Turn right onto W Virginia 95/Camden Ave.
Turn left onto Division St.
Turn right onto W Virginia 95W
Sunset Memory Gardens
1934 Dupont Rd.
Parkersburg, WV 26101

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MANCHIN STATEMENT HONORING WASHINGTON, W.VA. HERO CHIEF PETTY OFFICER NICHOLAS H. NULL

Chief Petty Officer Null was one of 30 U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan helicopter crash last weekend

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) released the following statement today honoring Chief Petty Officer Nicholas H. Null of Washington, W.Va., whose name was released as one of the 30 U.S. soldiers killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan over the weekend.

“The entire state of West Virginia joins the family and loved ones of Chief Petty Officer Null in mourning the loss of a true hero,” Senator Manchin said. “Chief Petty Officer Null put his life on the line to defend America, our freedom, and our deeply held values, and he and his family made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of this honorable mission. His service and patriotism cannot be understated, and it will not be forgotten.”

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Updated: 8/11/2011 @ 11:00 am

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Chief Petty Officer (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist/Diver) Nicholas H. Null, 30, of Washington, W.Va., has been officially identified as one of the U.S. servicemen killed Aug. 6 when their CH-47 Chinook helicopter crashed in the Wardak province, Afghanistan.

The U.S. Department of Defense has released the names Thursday morning.

Department of Defense News Release:
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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 Aug. 6 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:

Lt. Cmdr. (SEAL) Jonas B. Kelsall, 32, of Shreveport, La.,

Special Warfare Operator Master Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Louis J. Langlais, 44, of Santa Barbara, Calif.,

Special Warfare Operator Senior Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Thomas A. Ratzlaff, 34, of Green Forest, Ark.,

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, Conn.,

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) John W. Faas, 31, of Minneapolis, Minn.,

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Kevin A. Houston, 35, of West Hyannisport, Mass.,

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Matthew D. Mason, 37, of Kansas City, Mo.,

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, W.Va.,

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Robert J. Reeves, 32, of Shreveport, La.,

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Heath M. Robinson, 34, of Detroit, Mich.,

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Darrik C. Benson, 28, of Angwin, Calif.

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL/Parachutist) Christopher G. Campbell, 36, of Jacksonville, N.C.,

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, Neb.,

Cryptologist Technician (Collection) Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist) Michael J. Strange, 25, of Philadelphia, Pa.,

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, Fla., 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, Calif., and

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 2nd Class (SEAL) Nicholas P. Spehar, 24, ofSaint Paul, Minn.

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, Colo.;

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, Kan.;

Sgt. Patrick D. Hamburger, 30, of Lincoln, Neb. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), Grand Island, Neb.;

Sgt. Alexander J. Bennett, 24, of Tacoma, Wash. He was assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), New Century, Kan.; 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, Kan.

The airmen killed were:

Tech. Sgt. John W. Brown, 33, of Tallahassee, Fla.;

Staff Sgt. Andrew W. Harvell, 26, of Long Beach, Calif.; and

Tech. Sgt. Daniel L. Zerbe, 28, of York, Pa.

All three airmen were assigned to the 24th Special Tactics Squadron, Pope Field, N.C.

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Updated: 8/10/2011 @ 11:45 am

Note: WTAP has confirmed that one of those killed in the Chinook helicopter accident is originally from the Parkersburg area.

We are honoring the family's request to not release his name until the Department of Defense officially releases it.

The top commander in Afghanistan says international forces killed the Taliban insurgents responsible for downing a U.S. helicopter and killing 38 U.S. and Afghan forces over the weekend.

Marine Corps Gen. John Allen told a Pentagon news conference Wednesday that forces learned where the insurgents had fled to and killed them in an early Monday morning air strike.

A separate statement to the media from Afghanistan said the strike killed Taliban leader Mullah Mohibullah and the insurgent who fired the rocket-propelled grenade that downed the Chinook helicopter.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Admiral Mike Mullen, the top U.S. uniformed military officer, says the best way to honor the sacrifice of the Special Forces troops killed in eastern Afghanistan is to keep fighting.

U.S. officials tell The Associated Press that more than 20 Navy Seals from the unit that killed Osama bin Laden were among those lost in the helicopter crash.

U.S. officials tell The Associated Press that they believe that none of the Navy SEALS who died in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan had participated in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, although they were from the same unit that carried out the bin Laden mission.

Sources say that more than 20 Navy SEALs were among those lost in the crash in Afghanistan.

The operators from SEAL Team Six were flown by a regular Army crew.

That's according to A.P. military sources.

Another source says the team was thought to include 22 SEALs, three Air Force air controllers, seven Afghan Army troops, a dog and his handler, a civilian interpreter and the helicopter crew.

The sources thought this was the largest single loss of life ever for the SEAL Team Six, known as The Naval Special Warfare Development Group.

All sources spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive military matters.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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