By Debbie Gregory.
On January 15th, another member of the U.S. armed forces was killed as the result of a helicopter crash during a training exercise. Army Captain Clayton Carpenter of Brooklyn, New York was killed, and two unidentified soldiers were injured when their Army MH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crashed. The accident happened during a “hard landing” on the airstrip at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Georgia. The cause of the crash is unknown and still under investigation.
This was the third fatal helicopter crash in a 1 week span. On January 8th, there were two separate helicopter crashes. One involved an Air Force HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter that crashed near Norfolk, England, killing all four U.S. airmen onboard. The second crash that day was a Navy MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopter. The Navy Helo crashed in the Atlantic near Virginia Beach, Virginia. Of the five crew members, two survived the crash, but three were killed, including the pilot.
The Black Hawk and all soldiers involved in the crash were part of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. The regiment has been nicknamed “The Night Stalkers” because the missions have included attack, assault, and reconnaissance operations that have been conducted mainly at night.
Captain Carpenter completed two tours of duty in Iraq, and just recently returned from a month-long mission in Afghanistan. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. According to Carpenter’s father, Captain Carpenter turned down Yale University in order to fulfill his dream of attending West Point. Carpenter knew that his choice of educational institutions would alter his life’s path, and put him on a course that could lead him to war. Captain Carpenter was among the true American patriots who know the dangers of military service, and proceed anyway.
The staff at Military Connection is saddened to have to announce the passing of another one of our nation’s fallen soldiers. We send our condolences to the Carpenter family, the 160th, and all Army soldiers. We honor Captain Carpenter’s memory.