SAN CLEMENTE ISLAND, CA. (THECOUNT) — Staff Sgt. Vincent P. Marketta of Brick, New Jersey, and Sgt. Tyler M. Shelton, of San Bernardino, California, have been identified as the two members of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) killed Aug, 27 in a Black Hawk helicopter crash near San Clemente Island.
Marketta, 33, Shelton, 22, were killed during an aircraft mishap while training in California, officials announced Saturday morning.
Marketta and Shelton were killed late Thursday during aviation training on San Clemente Island, according to an Army Special Operations Command media release. Three other soldiers were injured in the mishap, the Army announced on Friday, according to Army Times.
“The loss of Staff Sgt. Marketta and Sgt. Shelton has left a scar in this Regiment that will never completely heal,” said Col. Andrew R. Graham, commander of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), according to the media release. “Their level of dedication to the 160th SOAR (A) and their exemplary service in the Army is the embodiment of what it means to be a Night Stalker and a Soldier.”
Geo quick facts: San Clemente Island is the southernmost of the Channel Islands of California. It is owned and operated by the United States Navy, and is a part of Los Angeles County. It is administered by Naval Base Coronado. Defined by the United States Census Bureau as Block Group 2 of Census Tract 5991 of Los Angeles County, California, it is 21 miles (34 km) long and contains 147.13 km2 (56.81 sq mi) of land. The island is officially uninhabited as of 2000 U.S. Census. It is estimated, however, that the number of military and civilian personnel present on the island at any given time is at least 300. The city of San Clemente in Orange County, California is named after the island – wikipedia.