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Olathe man identified as 1 of U.S. Marines killed in helicopter crash

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Posted at 12:44 PM, Feb 09, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-10 09:41:54-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The U.S. Marine Corps Friday identified a 21-year-old Olathe man as one of five Marines killed in a helicopter crash this week.

The Marines said Crew Chief Lance Cpl. Donovan Davis, 21, of Olathe; Sgt. Alex Langen, 23 of Chandler, Arizona; Capt. Benjamin Moulton, 27, of Emmett, Idaho; Jack Casey, 26, of Dover, New Hampshire; and Capt. Miguel Nava, 28, of Traverse City, Michigan, died when their helicopter crashed Tuesday in a remote snow-covered area in southern California.

The group was flying a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter and were on a routine training mission between Nevada and California at the time of the crash.

The Marines were stationed at Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361, part of Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing based in Miramar, California.

NBC News reports Davis enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2019 and received a promotion to Lance Corporal just last month. He was a decorated Marine, having earned the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal and a Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

“We have been confronted with a tragedy that is every service family’s worst fear,” said Lt. Col. Nicholas J. Harvey, commanding officer of HMH-361. “Our top priority now is supporting the families of our fallen heroes, and we ask for your respect and understanding as they grieve. The Flying Tigers family stands strong and includes the friends and community who have supported our squadron during this challenging time. We will get through this together.”

“Today, we learned that Kansas lost one of its finest in the tragic helicopter crash that took the lives of five United States Marines," Sen. Jerry Moran (R - Kansas) said in a statement. "Lance Cpl. Davis volunteered to serve his country, and at 21 years of age, he paid the ultimate sacrifice. Even in times of peace, our military men and women put themselves at great risk to make certain the troops are always ready to defend our nation if the need should arise.

Rep. Sharice Davids (D - 3rd District) represents Olathe.

“Words are of little comfort right now, but our community stands together in honoring the bravery, dedication, and commitment of Lance Corporal Donovan Davis," Davids said in a statement to KSHB 41. "My heart breaks for the Davis family and I hope we will keep them in our prayers as they grieve.”

“The loss of Lance Corporal Davis and his fellow marines is devastating news,” Sen. Roger Marshall (R - Kansas) said in statement Friday afternoon. “These courageous young men committed their lives to serving our country and were taken too soon. May they rest in peace, and may God bless their friends and families during this unimaginable time. We will never forget their service and sacrifice for our great nation.”

Davis attended Blue Valley Southwest High School in Overland Park.

The district sent KSHB 41 a statement on the death of Davis.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of Lance Corporal Donovan Davis, a cherished member of our Blue Valley Southwest 2020 graduating class. Our hearts go out to his family, friends, and fellow Marines during this incredibly difficult time. Donovan will be remembered for his dedication, bravery, and service to our country. His sacrifice will forever be honored, and his memory will live on in the hearts of all who knew him."