Families Name Victims in Helicopter Crash - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

07/01/05

Families Name Victims in Helicopter Crash

It's the news family and friends of soldiers fear the most, that of their loved one being killed in action. Tonight, 16 families are getting or have already received that news after insurgents shot down a Chinook helicopter in Afghanistan Tuesday.

No names have been released by the Department of Defense, but it has notified families, and many of those families have contacted us and said some of the victims were from our area.

Some of them from Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah. Sixteen special forces troops were on board the MH-47 Chinook chopper. Of the servicemen, eight were Navy Seals and eight were Army air crew. The soldiers were assigned to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment.

Among them, 31-year-old Staff Sgt. Michael Russell, Maj. Steve Reich, and Sgt. 1st Class James "Tre" Ponder III.

Sgt. Russell was a member of the elite Nightstalkers regiment.

Reported by: Don Logana, dlogana@wtoc.com

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