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Military deaths

December 06, 2009

The Defense Department last week identified the following American military personnel killed in Afghanistan, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates:

Derrick D. Gwaltney, 21, of Cape Coral, Fla.; private first class, Army, Gwaltney died of noncombat-related injuries Nov. 29 south of Basra, Iraq, south of Baghdad. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 377th Field Artillery Regiment, 17th Fires Brigade at Ft. Lewis, Wash.

Brandon T. Islip, 23, of Richmond, Va.; sergeant, Army. Islip was killed Nov. 4 when he jumped into a river to retrieve airdropped supplies in the Bala Murghab district of western Afghanistan's Badghis province, northwest of Kabul, and was swept away in the current. His body was recovered Nov. 29. Army Sgt. Benjamin W. Sherman, 21, of Plymouth, Mass., also was killed when he jumped into the river to rescue Islip. Military divers recovered Sherman's body Nov. 10. Islip and Sherman were both members of the 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division at Ft. Bragg, N.C.

David M. Mudge, 22, of Sutherlin, Ore.; petty officer third class, Navy. Mudge was electrocuted Nov. 28 while making repairs aboard the San Diego-based guided missile frigate Rentz while it was docked at Port Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates. The Rentz is deployed to the Persian Gulf with the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Kenneth R. Nichols Jr., 28, of Chrisman, Ill.; sergeant, Army. Nichols was killed Tuesday when his unit was attacked with rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire in eastern Afghanistan's Kunar province, on the Pakistani border. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division at Ft. Carson, Colo.

Michael A. Rogers, 23, of White Sulphur Springs, Mont.; private first class, Army. Rogers died of noncombat-related injuries Nov. 27 at Forward Operating Base Hammer, Iraq, east of Baghdad. He was assigned to the 210th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) at Ft. Drum, N.Y.

Jonathan A. Taylor, 22, of Jacksonville, Fla.; lance corporal, Marine Corps. Taylor was killed in combat Tuesday in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province, on the Pakistani border. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Sources: Department of Defense and Times staff reports

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