Four Navy airmen from San Diego are missing and presumed dead after their helicopter crashed while resupplying ships in the Pacific Ocean near Wake Island, the Navy announced Friday.
The crewmen of the ill-fated CH-46 Sea Knight were identified as Lt. Eric W. Allison, 26, of Coronado; Lt. (j.g.) Kenneth D. Pickens, 24, of Clairemont; Airman William A. Jackson, 20, of San Diego, and Petty Officer 1st Class Johnny L. Caulder Jr., 28, of Spring Valley.
The Sea Knight, operating from the fast combat support ship Camden, crashed Wednesday; search efforts were abandoned about 24 hours later, said Lt. Ken Ross, a spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
The cause of the accident, which occurred about 100 miles east of Wake Island, is under investigation, Ross said. Investigators will look at recorded radio transmissions from the helicopter and interview ship crewmen who witnessed the crash.