DNA leads Army to declare 3 Black Hawk crew members dead after crash

Three of five crew members on board a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter that crashed off Kaena Point during a night training mission earlier this month have been officially declared dead.

The Armed Forces Medical Examiner declared 1st Lt. Kathryn M. Bailey, Staff Sgt. Abigail R. Milam, and Sgt. Michael L. Nelson deceased after analysis of organic matter discovered among recovered debris matched their DNA.

1st Lt. Bailey, 26, whose home of record is listed as Hope Mills, North Carolina, entered active-duty military service in August 2015 as an Aviation officer. She was assigned to Company A, 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division.

Bailey’s decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon and the Aviator Badge.

Staff Sgt. Milam, 33, whose home of record is listed as Jenkins, Kentucky, entered active-duty military service in August 2011 as a UH-60 Black Hawk Helicopter Repairer. She was assigned to Company A, 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division.

Milam’s awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal with two loops, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon with award numeral 2, Army Service Ribbon, and the Aviation Badge.

Sgt. Nelson, 30, whose home of record is listed as Antioch, Texas, entered active-duty military service in July 2006 as a UH-60 Black Hawk Helicopter Repairer. He was assigned to Company A, 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division.

Nelson’s awards and decorations include the Air Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Meritorious Unit Commendation, the Army Good Conduct Medal with three loops, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with three Bronze Stars, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Korean Defense Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon with award numeral 3, the NATO Medal, and the Aviation Badge. He deployed twice to Afghanistan.

The crash occurred on Aug. 15 and search-and-rescue operations were suspended on Aug. 21.

The other two crew members remain listed as duty status – whereabouts unknown, or DUSTWUN.

Recovery and salvage efforts supported by the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the 25th Infantry Division are currently underway. There is no timetable for completion of these operations. The circumstances of this incident are currently under investigation.

While recovery and salvage operations are ongoing, debris from the crash may still be floating in the water or possibly be found on shore. Debris from the crash is considered hazardous and should only be recovered by recovery teams with the proper training and personal protective equipment. The debris poses potential risk and could cause serious bodily harm due to sharp edges.

Those who see or encounter debris consistent with this type of aircraft along the north and west side of Oahu as well the southern and eastern sides of Kauai are asked to report it to responders by calling the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade Staff Duty Officer at 808-656-1080.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

14 − 4 =