HMM-364 Mourns the Loss of
Purple Fox CH-46 Crew

 Military officials told the Associated Press that  mechanical problems caused the crash, while Iraqi officials say an insurgent anti-aircraft missile struck  the helicopter. A terrorist group in Iraq claimed  responsibility for the crash.  There is a video,  supposedly taken by the Islamic State of Iraq  (composed of a variety of insurgency groups) who  claim to have downed the CH-46.  Information so  far indicates they were on a routine casualty evacuation (CASEVAC)  mission on 7 February 2007.

 The Marine CH-46 helicopter went down northwest of Baghdad, killing all  seven people on board, and an Al-Qaida-linked Sunni group claimed  responsibility and aired a video.  But military officials initially said they did  not believe it was downed by insurgents.

 "After further investigation using all available means, the cause of the  incident has been confirmed to be hostile fire," said Maj. Jeff Pool, a  spokesman for the Multi National Force - West.

 With the able assistance of Stephanie Hanson, a compilation of various  news articles from around the country relating to the crew have been  assembled to portray the emotions and memories these stalwart warriors  left with their communities and relatives.  Ironically, it was on 7 February  1969 that Stephanie's father, Gary Norman Young who was also a Navy  Corpsman, lost his life aboard a Purple Fox CH-46 in Vietnam.

 There is a possibility that two additional Marines were killed by insurgents  as they attempted to reach the CH-46 to assist in rescuing the crew.

 Capt. Jennifer Harris, the pilot, with one of her fuzzy  passengers during her second deployment to Iraq.

Jennifer Harris' Narrative

1stLt. Jared M. Landaker, copilot.

Jared M. Landaker's Narrative


Sgt. Travis D. Phister, tail gunner or "stinger."

Travis D. Phister's Narrative


HM3 Manuel A. Ruiz, corpsman.
Manual A. Ruiz's Narrative

HM1 Gilbert Minjares Jr., corpsman

Gilbert Minjares' Narrative

Cpl. Thomas E. Saba, Left gunner

Thomas E. Saba's Narrative


Sgt. James R. Tijerina, Crew Chief/Right Gunner

James R. Tijerina's Narrative

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