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Need Info on CH-53D crash at MWTC, Bridgeport, CA o/a 12-14 March 1994

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  • Need Info on CH-53D crash at MWTC, Bridgeport, CA o/a 12-14 March 1994

    I need help to identify the CH-53D BuNo and Squadron for the subject crash. I have an LA Times article that gives the basics below. Are any of the former crew members available?
    R/ Dutch

    LA Times article:

    Marine Officer Is Killed, 4 Servicemen Hurt in Crash : Accident: Their Tustin-based helicopter lands tail-first and explodes on a Northern California runway.March 14, 1994 LILY DIZON | TIMES STAFF WRITER
    A Marine officer was killed and four Marines were injured when their Tustin-based helicopter landed tail-first and burst into flames on a military runway in Northern California, the Marine Corps said Sunday.

    The co-pilot, Lt. James Amature, 27, of New York City, who had been involved in U.S. relief efforts in Somalia, died of massive injuries in the Saturday afternoon accident aboard a CH-53D Super Stallion helicopter, spokesman Sgt. Barry L. Pawelek said.

    Pawelek said the transport-and-supply helicopter from the Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 363 from the Tustin Marine Corps Air Station was landing when "the bottom two wheels of the plane, near the tail," hit the ground.

    The helicopter burst into flames and "destroyed most of the aircraft," Pawelek said.

    The cause of the accident hasn't been determined and an investigation is continuing, he said.

    The pilot, 40-year-old Maj. David Peterson of Fairborne, Ohio, was in satisfactory condition Sunday, said a nurse at Washoe Medical Center in Reno. No conditions were immediately available for the other injured Marines, identified as the crew chief, Corp. John McCarthy, 29, of Randolph, Mass., and crewman Lance Corp. Vincent Pirato, 30, of Drexel Hills, Penn.

    Also hurt was Capt. Kerry Bartlett, who is attached to the Mountain Warfare Training Center, according to Pawelek.
    Amature, Peterson and McCarthy were involved in U.S.-led relief efforts in Somalia.

    Amature was from New York City. He is survived by his parents and two brothers, also from New York.
    CH-53 Super Stallions are heavy-lift helicopters, the largest of their kind made outside the former Soviet Union. The chopper can lift up to its weight of 16 tons and is used to transport weapons, light armored vehicles and troops.

    There have been three other crashes involving Marine helicopters over the past year, killing seven servicemen and one civilian.
    Three Marines and an Army pilot were killed Sept. 8 when two Super Cobra attack helicopters collided during a military exercise at the Marine Corps training base at Twentynine Palms. Two other Marines died less than 24 hours later in the crash of another Cobra near San Diego.

    Last Aug. 16, two men--one a civilian photographer--died in a midair collision of two Marine helicopters over the ocean off Dana Point. One of the aircraft was a UH-1N Huey helicopter and the other was a Super Cobra based at Camp Pendleton.