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Victims Were From Camp Pendleton

May 21, 2003|From a Times Staff Writer

Five Marines from Camp Pendleton died in a helicopter crash in Iraq, the U.S. Marine Corps announced Tuesday.

Four of the Marines were aboard a CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter that crashed Monday into a canal near Karbala, about 50 miles southwest of Baghdad, shortly after takeoff.

The fifth drowned while attempting to rescue the crew members. All were part of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.

The helicopter was on a routine resupply mission when the crash occurred. Iraqis and Marines recovered the bodies.

Names were being withheld until families had been notified.

The Sea Knight is a Vietnam War-era helicopter whose life has been extended through a series of upgrades.

The craft is designed to fly in all kinds of weather, day or night, and can carry troops and equipment.

Four Marines and eight British troops were killed March 20 when a CH-46 crashed in the Kuwaiti desert in the opening hours of the war.

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