Four Marines fromMarine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 465, Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rdMarine Aircraft Wing, MCAS Miramar, were killed as a result of a CH-53ESuper Stallion helicopter crash in the vicinity of El Centro, California, atapproximately 2:35 p.m. (PST), April 3, 2018.

“The loss of our Marines weighs heavy on our hearts,” said Maj. Gen. MarkWise, commanding general of 3rd MAW. “Our priority is to provide support forour families and HMH-465 during this critical time.”

Capt. Samuel A. Schultz, 28, of Huntington Valley, Pennsylvania, was a pilotassigned to HMH-465. He joined the Marine Corps in May 2012.

Schultz’ previous duty stations include Naval Air Station Pensacola,Florida; Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas; and MCAS New River, NorthCarolina.

Schultz previously deployed with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit. He hasno personal awards.

First Lt. Samuel D. Phillips, 27, of Pinehurst, North Carolina, was a pilotassigned to HMH-465. He joined the Marine Corps in August 2013.

Phillips’ previous duty stations include NAS Pensacola, NAS Corpus Christiand MCAS New River. He has no personal awards and has not deployed.

Gunnery Sgt. Derik R. Holley, 33, of Dayton, Ohio, was a CH-53 helicoptercrew chief assigned to HMH-465. He joined the Marine Corps in November 2003.

Holley’s previous duty stations include Marine Corps Base Quantico and MCASMiramar. He previously deployed to Iraq twice in support of Operation IraqiFreedom, to Japan as part of the Unit Deployment Program, and with the 15thMarine Expeditionary Unit.

Holley’s personal awards consist of the Navy and Marine Corps CommendationMedal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (4th award), AirMedal-Strike/Flight (9th award), and the Navy and Marine Corps Good ConductMedal (4th award).

Lance Cpl. Taylor J. Conrad, 24, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was a CH-53helicopter crew chief assigned to HMH-465. Conrad joined the Marine Corps inMay 2016. He has no personal awards and has not deployed.

“The hardest part of being a Marine is the tragic loss of life of a fellowbrother-in-arms,” said Col. Craig Leflore, commanding officer of MarineAircraft Group 16. “My deepest sympathies go out to the families and friendsof Capt. Samuel Shultz, 1st Lt. Samuel Phillips, Gunnery Sgt. Derik Holley, and Lance Cpl. Taylor Conrad. These “Warhorse” Marines brought joy andlaughter to so many around them. They each served honorably, wore theuniform proudly and were a perfect example of what makes our Marine Corpsgreat – its people! They will forever be in our hearts and minds.”

The aircraft departed the Strategic Expeditionary Landing Field at MarineCorps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California, to conductsquadron training consisting of aircraft landings in unimproved zones.

The mishap occurred approximately 15 miles west of El Centro.

The cause of the crash is currently under investigation.

All releasable information is contained within this release.


UPDATE: 3RD MAW CH-53E SUPER STALLION CRASHApril / 4 / 2018
Four Marines from3rd Marine Aircraft Wing were killed as a result of a CH-53E Super Stallionhelicopter crash in the vicinity of El Centro, California, at approximately2:35 p.m. (PST), April 3, 2018.

The aircraft departed the Strategic Expeditionary Landing Field at MarineCorps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California, to conductsquadron

training consisting of aircraft landings in unimproved zones.

The mishap occurred approximately 15 miles west of El Centro.

The cause of the crash is currently under investigation.

The names of the deceased will be withheld until 24 hours after next-of-kinnotification.

All releasable information is contained within this release and updates willbe provided as more information becomes available.


A Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter from 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing crashed in the vicinity of El Centro, California, at approximately 2:35 p.m. Tuesday during a routine training mission.

Four crew members were aboard the aircraft. The status of all four is presumed dead pending positive identification.

The cause of the crash is currently under investigation.

The names of the deceased will be withheld until 24 hours after next-of-kin notification.

All information is contained within this release and updates will be provided as information becomes available.

Courtesy United States Marines