Marines Who Died in Helicopter Crash Identified, Including Newlywed: ‘He Was Everything,’ Says Wife

The crew was “conducting routine flight training” when the incident occurred, according to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing

<p>Travis Manion Foundation/ Facebook</p> Donovan Davis, Jack Casey, Benjamin Moulton, Miguel Nava, Alec Langen

Travis Manion Foundation/ Facebook

Donovan Davis, Jack Casey, Benjamin Moulton, Miguel Nava, Alec Langen
  • The Marine Corps has identified the five men who died in a helicopter crash in California earlier this week

  • Among those killed is 23-year-old Sergeant Alex Langen, who recently got married

  • Three of the Marines had recently been promoted, including one who rose in the ranks on the first day of 2024

The five Marines who died in a military helicopter crash in California earlier this week have been identified.

Lance Corporal Donovan Davis, 21, of Kansas, Sergeant Alec Langen, 23, of Arizona, Captain Benjamin Moulton, 27, of Idaho, Captain Jack Casey, 26, of New Hampshire, and Captain Miguel Nava, 28, of Michigan, were killed in the “mishap” on Wednesday, according to a news release from the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.

Langen had recently married his wife, Cassandra, whom he met nearly a year ago, according to FOX affiliate KSAZ-TV. “It was 100% the best year of my life,” said Cassandra, who married Langen in Sedona.

“We will miss him dearly,” said Langen’s mother in a statement to NBC affiliate KSND.

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Nava was the first of the five to join the Marine Corps on May 26, 2017, and was promoted to Captain on Nov. 1, 2021, according to the Marines. Langen was next to enlist on September 14, 2017. The Arizona man was promoted to Sergeant on Oct. 1, 2022.

Moulton joined the Marine Corps on March 29, 2019, followed by Caset on May 16, 2019, and Davis on Sept. 3, 2019. Moulton and Casey were promoted to Captain in August and September 2023, respectively, and Davis was promoted to Lance Corporal on Jan. 1, 2024.

The agency said Davis and Langen were crew chiefs on the CH-53E helicopter piloted by Moulton, Casey and Nava that went down in Pine Valley, Calif.

The crew was “conducting routine flight training” when the incident occurred, the Marines added.

Langen’s wife told KSAZ-TV that she became concerned after her husband did not come home at 1 p.m. local time as expected. “My messages weren’t sending, and my last message from him was at 10,” she added.

Cassandra described her late husband as a "funny" and "generous" person who cared "for so many people" in life. "He was everything I could have dreamed about," she said.

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Lieutenant Colonel Nicholas J. Harvey, commanding officer of HMH-361, said the Marines’ top priority “is supporting the families of our fallen heroes.”

“We have been confronted with a tragedy that is every service family’s worst fear,” Harvey said in Friday’s release. He said the Flying Tigers family is standing “strong” in the wake of the tragedy.

“We will get through this together," Harvey said.

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The Travis Manion Foundation, which works with families of fallen military members, said the five men’s “selfless dedication and sacrifice to protect our nation will never be forgotten.”

“To the families of these fallen heroes and fellow service members, our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time,” they added.

An investigation into the crash is ongoing, according to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.

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