Marines Identified In Helicopter Mishap, One From Spokane - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Marines Identified In Helicopter Mishap, One From Spokane

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. (February 24, 2012) – Two helicopters belonging to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing collided along the California/Arizona border killing seven Marines Wednesday, February 22 around 8:00 p.m.

The following six Marines were assigned to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 469, Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing and based at Camp Pendleton.

Maj. Thomas A. Budrejko, 37, of Montville, Conn., commissioned in the Marine Corps May 24, 1996 and served as an AH-1W Cobra pilot and Executive Officer of HMLA-469.

Budrejko served three deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, 2004 and 2005, and one deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2010.

His personal awards include Air Medal Individual Action with Combat "V" (gold numeral 2), Air Medal Strike/Flight (numeral 9), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat „V‟ (fourth award), National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

Capt. Michael M. Quin, 28, of Purcellville, Va., commissioned in the Marine Corps May 26, 2006 and served as a UH-1Y Huey pilot.

Quin‟s personal awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (second award), National Defense Service Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

Capt. Benjamin N. Cerniglia, 31, of Montgomery, Ala., commissioned in the Marine Corps December 14, 2007 and served as an AH-1W Cobra pilot.

Cerniglia‟s personal awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal (second award), National Defense Service Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

Sgt. Justin A. Everett, 33, of Clovis, Calif., enlisted in the Marine Corps February 19, 2002 and served as a helicopter crew chief aboard UH-1Y Hueys.

Everett deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005.

His personal awards include the Air Medal Strike/Flight, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (second award), Good Conduct Medal (second award), National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Korean Defense Service Medal.

Lance Cpl. Corey A. Little, 25, of Marietta, Ga., enlisted in the Marine Corps March 30, 2009 and served as a helicopter crew chief aboard UH-1Y Hueys.

His personal awards include the National Defense Service Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

Lance Cpl. Nickoulas H. Elliott, 21, of Spokane, Wash., enlisted in the Marine Corps May 4, 2009 and served as a helicopter crew chief aboard UH-1Y Hueys.

His personal awards include the National Defense Service Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

The following Marine was assigned to Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz.

Capt. Nathan W. Anderson, 32, of Amarillo, Texas, commissioned in the Marine Corps December 20, 2002 and served as a UH-1Y Huey pilot.

Anderson served three deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

His personal awards include the Air Medal Individual Action, Air Medal Strike/Flight (numeral 2), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

"Every single one of these Marines impacted our squadron in their own special way and the entire Marine Corps aviation community is feeling their tragic loss. During this difficult time, I ask that you pray for the families and friends of the warriors we have lost." said Lt. Col. Stephen Lightfoot, Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 469 commanding officer.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families, friends and loved ones of the Marines involved in this tragic accident," said Col. Bradford Gering, commanding officer, Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One. "We will do everything in our power to support all those affected and honor their memories."

The cause of the incident is currently under investigation.

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