The U.S. Army identified two soldiers Saturday who died in a Black Hawk helicopter crash during training on San Clemente Island.
Sgt. Tyler M. Shelton, 22, of San Bernardino, and Staff Sgt. Vincent P. Marketta, 33, of Brick, N.J., died Thursday in the crash. Three other soldiers were injured.
“The loss of Staff Sgt. Marketta and Sgt. Shelton has left a scar in this regiment that will never completely heal,” said Col. Andrew R. Graham, commander of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne). “Their level of dedication to the 160th SOAR (A) and their exemplary service in the Army is the embodiment of what it means to be a Night Stalker and a soldier. Our priority now is to ensure the families of our fallen warriors receive our complete support as we work through this tragedy together.”
Marketta enlisted in the Army in 2011 as a Black Hawk helicopter repairer. He was assigned to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) in 2012. He spent 18 months as an aircraft repairer in 1st Battalion, 160th SOAR (A). In 2014, He was made an MH-60M crew chief.
Marketta was deployed to Afghanistan and deployed multiple times to Iraq. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross among other service medals.
Shelton enlisted in the Army in 2016 as a Black Hawk repairer. He was assigned to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) in 2017. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 160th SOAR (A) where he spent eight months as an MH-60M Repairer.
In 2018, Shelton was made an MH-60M crew chief. Shelton deployed to Afghanistan and was awarded the Army Good Conduct Medal, among other medals.
Both men will receive the Meritorious Service Medal posthumously, Army officials said.
The accident happened less that a month after eight Marines from Camp Pendleton and one Navy sailor were killed when an amphibious assault vehicle sank July 30 in the ocean near San Clemente Island.
>> Subscribe to Times of San Diego’s free daily email newsletter! Click hereFollow Us: