Some Casualties in NATO Copter Crash Named; SEALs Among the Dead

Chinook helicopter; a similar craft is reportedly the one shot down in Afghanistan Saturday, leading to the deaths of 31 Americans.

UPDATE, 7:20 PM: 

The U.S. casualties have dropped to 30, reports the New York Times; overall 38 died.

Though there has been no official list of the dead, families have started to reveal their losses.

The AP, via the Washington Post, reports that a woman said her grandson, Aaron Carson Vaughn from Tennessee, was one of the SEALs killed. Television station WREG adds Vaughn’s photo.

The Des Moines Register cited the loss of Jon Tumilson of Rockford, Iowa, and the Shreveport Times noted the deaths of Chief Petty Officer Robert James Reeves and Lt. Commander Jonas Kelsall. Kelsall’s father confirmed he trained in San Diego.

The Army Times offers further detail, saying 17 of the special forces members who were killed were SEALs – two from the West Coast – and five were support personnel. Other military members killed were from the Army and Air Force.

The LA Times reports many of the SEAL casualties were from SEAL Team 6, the unit that took out Osama bin Laden, but those killed were NOT members who were part of the May bin Laden raid.



News continues to come in about Saturday’s helicopter crash in Afghanistan, the deadliest incident in the 10-year conflict.

President Obama, in a statement on the White House Twitter feed, said, “At this difficult hour, all Americans are united in support of our men and women in uniform.”

The Navy initially announced the crash, and the Defense Department expressed condolences to the families of those lost.

The identities of the dead have yet to be released, pending notification of families. 

Here’s what major outlets are reporting:

The Associated Press reports, via the Huffington Post, that more than 20 of those lost are Navy SEALs; in all, 31 Americans died

The New York Times says 38 died in total, including crew and escorts, and the aircraft was shot down by a rocket-propelled grenade from the Taliban.

The Washington Post reports it was a NATO Chinook helicopter and that Afghan President Hamid Karzai has expressed condolences.

BBC says the crash took place in the Wardak province, west of the nation’s capital, Kabul, and adds a list of the deadliest attacks against NATO forces in Afghanistan.