Deadly week in Middle East claims 13 lives, including USAF Captain from Palmdale

May 9th, 2013 | by Denise Goolsby | Comments


Since May 1, 13 service members have died supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, the Department of Defense reports.

Staff Sgt. Michael H. Simpson, 30, of San Antonio, Texas, died May 1 in Landstuhl, Germany, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit on April 27, with an improvised explosive device in Arian, Afghanistan.  He was assigned to the 4th Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.

Spc. Trinidad Santiago Jr., 25, of San Diego and Pfc. Charles P. McClure, 21, of Stratford, Okla. died at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, of injuries sustained in a vehicle accident.  They were assigned to 4th Battalion, 42nd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.

Three airmen were killed May 3, near Chon-Aryk, Kyrgyzstan, in the crash of a KC-135 aircraft.  The airmen were assigned to the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron, Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash.  The cause of the crash is under investigation.

            Killed were:

            Capt. Mark T. Voss, 27, of Colorado Springs, Colo.,

            Capt. Victoria A. Pinckney, 27, of Palmdale, Calif., and

            Tech Sgt. Herman Mackey III, 30, of Bakersfield, Calif.

Staff Sgt. Eric D. Christian, 39, of Warwick, N.Y., and Cpl. David M. Sonka, 23, of Parker, Colo. were killed May 4 while conducting combat operations in Farah province, Afghanistan. They were both assigned to 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion, Camp Lejeune, N.C.  This incident is under investigation.

The Department of Defense announced Monday (May 6)  the death of five soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

 Five soldiers died May 4 in Maiwand, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when their vehicle was attacked by an enemy improvised explosive device.  The soldiers were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 36thInfantry, 1stBrigade Combat Team, 1stArmored Division, Fort Bliss, Texas.

            Killed were:

                        1st Lt. Brandon J. Landrum, 26, of Lawton, Okla.,

                        Staff Sgt. Francis G. Phillips IV, 28, of Meridian, N.Y.,

                         Spc. Kevin Cardoza, 19, of Mercedes, Texas,

                         Spc. Thomas P. Murach, 22, of Meridian, Idaho, and

                         Spc. Brandon J. Prescott, 24, of Bend, Ore.

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