Two of the seven U.S. Marines killed in a helicopter crash off the Florida panhandle earlier this week called the tri-state area home, military officials said Friday.
The Marine Corps said Capt. Stanford Henry Shaw III, a 31-year-old of Basking Ridge, New Jersey, and Staff Sgt. Liam Flynn, a 33-year-old from Queens, were among the 11 armed servicemembers who perished in the crash during a training exercise over the Gulf of Mexico Tuesday.
Shaw, a decorated officer who was born and raised in Basking Ridge, was captain of Ridge High School’s varsity lacrosse program and its student government president. He graduated in 2002 and attended the Naval Academy, where he played club lacrosse. After graduating in 2006 he became an officer with the Marines and served two tours in Iraq. He also served in Japan and Malaysia.
Flynn was born in England and moved to New York City in July 2002, officials say. He enlisted with the Marines in October 2006 and served three tours in Afghanistan.
Shaw and Flynn's names were released as officials began efforts to recover the Black Hawk helicopter that slammed into the gulf waters amid heavy fog, killing them, five other Marines and four Louisiana National Guardsmen. The work to haul the shattered helicopter core from about 25 feet of water could take up to eight hours, authorities have said.
Nine of the 11 bodies have been recovered; the remains of two guardsmen are still thought to be under the water.
In addition to Shaw and Flynn, U.S. Marines Master Sgt. Thomas Saunders of Williamsburg, Virginia; Staff Sgt. Marcus Bawol of Warren, Michigan; Staff Sgt. Trevor Blaylock of Lake Orion, Michigan; Staff Sgt. Kerry Kemp of Fort Washington, Wisconsin; and Staff Sgt. Andrew Seif of Holland, Michigan, died in the crash.
All seven were from the 2nd Special Operations Battalion of the Marine Corps Special Operations Command, stationed at Camp Lejune, North Carolina.
The identities of the four guardsmen who had been on the chopper have not been released.