Marine Helicopter Crash Victim Identified as 23-Year-Old Arizona Newlywed

One of the five marines killed in a Thursday helicopter crash in California has been identified as 23-year-old newlywed Sgt. Alec Langen.

The young Arizona native had just been married last month. The chopper he was in failed in stormy weather on the way to an air station near San Diego, according to NBC7. 

The aircraft was “reported overdue” on Tuesday night after it departed from Creech Air Force Base outside of Las Vegas, Nevada, Breitbart News reported.

Following an extensive search through difficult terrain, the wreckage was found on Thursday about 45 miles from its destination in the snowy California mountains.

“It is with a heavy heart and profound sadness that I share the loss of five outstanding Marines from 3d Marine Aircraft Wing and the ‘Flying Tigers,’” Maj Gen Michael J Borgschulte, commander of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, said in a statement following news of the helicopter being found.

“Alec Langen was one of the Marines that was on board the helicopter that crashed on Tuesday,” the grieving family said in a statement to the local NBC station. “We will miss him dearly.”

Langen was serving as Crew Chief on the helicopter when he died.

According to his father, Steven Langen, Alec dreamed of following him in becoming a Marine.

“Ever since he was three, he was like, ‘I want to do what daddy did,’” the heartbroken father told ABC15. “I did the same thing. I was in the same helicopter, same everything, from ’86 to ’95.”

“Being a Marine to Alec was everything. Steve pinned his wings on him when he finished training. He idolized his father,” Alec’s mother, Caren Langen, said.

The mourning mother added that she is “grateful” to the first responders that searched for her son’s body.

The U.S. Marine Corps later identified the remaining four crew members as Lance Cpl. Donovan Davis, 21, Capt. Benjamin Moulton, 27, Capt. Jack Casey, 26, and Capt. Miguel Nava, 28.

There is an open investigation into the cause of the crash, officials added Thursday. 

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said that “California joins the nation in mourning the tremendous loss of these Marines.”

“Their dedication to serving our country will always be remembered,” he said in a statement obtained by NBC 7. 


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