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Black Hawk Wreckage Found in Florida; 2 Bodies Recovered

Image: Black Hawk Wreckage Found in Florida; 2 Bodies Recovered
A wheel and pieces of fuselage from an Army Black Hawk helicopter sit along the shoreline of Santa Rosa Sound near Navarre, Fla. on Wednesday, March 11, 2015. (AP Photo/Northwest Florida Daily News, Devon Ravine)

By    |   Thursday, 12 Mar 2015 02:48 PM

The wreckage of a Black Hawk military helicopter that went missing Tuesday during training exercises has been found off the Florida coast, and recovery of the bodies of the 11 soldiers and Marines on board has begun.

The seven Marines and four soldiers on board are all presumed dead, Reuters reported. The soldiers and helicopter were assigned to an Army unit with the Louisiana National Guard, based in Hammond, Louisiana. The Marines were from Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

So far, the bodies of two Marines have been recovered, and other remains are expected to be inside the helicopter, according to The Associated Press, which quoted an Army spokesperson who described the crash as high-impact. Weather and heavy fog kept the recovery team from easily accessing the wreckage.

The two Marines recovered were identified as Kerry Kemp and Marcus Bawol, the AP said, though details of their service and rank were not announced as of Thursday afternoon. The news organization identified Kemp as being married to Jenna Kemp and said he had a child about to turn one. Bawol was reportedly from Warren, Michigan.

The Hammond community had been closely watching for word of survivors during the search operation. Word that the wreckage had been found drew heartfelt messages online:

“Our hearts break with this terrible news. Military units, especially in the National Guard, are like families, and this is a tremendous loss felt by us all,” the Louisiana National Guard posted on Facebook. "These brave men were our coworkers, friends, brothers.”

The Charlotte Observer said the North Carolina community from which the special operations unit of Marines hailed was also struggling to absorb the news.

Although the names of the missing Marines have not been officially released, Mickayla Volker, the wife of a Marine, told the Observer she knew who they were. “They’re our husbands or brothers or sisters or fathers or significant others,” she said, adding that people in the military are “all in the same boat.”

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The wreckage of a Black Hawk military helicopter that went missing Tuesday during training exercises has been found off the Florida coast, and recovery of the bodies of the 11 soldiers and Marines on board has begun.
black hawk, wreckage, found, florida, bodies
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2015-48-12
Thursday, 12 Mar 2015 02:48 PM
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