As we reflect on the service and sacrifices made after watching the movie Lone Survivor, I want everyone to also remember the brave helicopter crew lost as they went to rescue our Navy SEALs on the ground. These eight men, members of the United States Army 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, also known as Night Stalkers, courageously flew into battle answering the call for help from Navy SEAL Michael Murphy.
I had the honor of working with a few groups of Night Stalkers in my career and they always flew those helicopters to the extreme; as fast and low as they can go. They never hesitated to push their limits and that of the helicopter they were flying.
Eight Night Stalkers (Turbine 33) were lost along with the Navy SEAL Quick Reaction Force (QRF) on a rescue mission for Navy SEALs Michael Murphy, Marcus Luttrell, Matthew Axelson, and Danny Dietz, after their MH-47D helicopter was hit by a rocket propelled grenade (RPG). The Night Stalkers lost on the rescue mission:
- SSG, Shamus O. Goare, 29, of Danville, Ohio
- Chief Warrant Officer, Corey J. Goodnature, 35, of Clarks Grove, Minnesota.
- SGT, Kip A. Jacoby, 21, of Pompano Beach, Florida
- SFC, Marcus V. Muralles, 33, of Shelbyville, Indiana
- MSG, James W. Ponder III, 36, of Franklin, Tennessee
- MAJ, Stephen C. Reich, 34, of Washington Depot, Connecticut.
- SFC, Michael L. Russell, 31, of Stafford, Virginia
- Chief Warrant Officer, Chris J. Scherkenbach, 40, of Jacksonville, Florida
To the fallen Night Stalkers, their families, and the United States Army 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, I salute you. Hooyah!