JACKSONVILLE, N.C. — A Marine helicopter on an assault exercise crashed into the Atlantic and sank in 50 feet of water after takeoff from the helicopter carrier Guadalcanal today, and an official said 15 of the 19 men aboard drowned.
Marine spokesman Maj. Anthony Rothfork said four survivors were pulled from the sea, along with one body. He said the 14 missing men were being listed as dead, although their bodies had not been recovered. The CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter carried members of the 26th Marine Amphibious Unit from Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Officials said it crashed in predawn darkness at 6:07 a.m. while taking off from the Guadalcanal.