Traverse City man identified among Marines killed in helicopter crash near San Diego

The five Marines who were killed in a CH-53E helicopter crash in Pine Valley, California, on Feb. 6, 2024, were identified. From left to right, Lance Cpl. Donovan Davis, 21, of Olathe, Kansas, Sgt. Alec Langen, 23, of Chandler, Arizona, Capt. Benjami

One of the Marine Corps members killed in a helicopter crash during a storm, has been identified as a Traverse City man.

Capt. Miguel Nava, 28, of Traverse City, Michigan was named by the military on Friday as being aboard the CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter that crashed in the mountains near San Diego during what has been described as a historic storm.

Nava was a CH-53E pilot. The decorated Marines were assigned to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361, Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing and were based at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego.

Other victins were named as Lance Cpl. Donovan Davis, 21, of Olathe, Kansas, Sgt. Alec Langen, 23, of Chandler, Arizona, Capt. Jack Casey, 26, of Dover, New Hampshire, and Capt. Benjamin Moulton, 27, of Emmett, Idaho.

A Facebook profile belonging to Nava said he was formerly of Comstock Park and was an avid hunter.

The Super Stallion vanished late Tuesday night on its way back to Miramar from Creech Air Force Base. The craft was discovered Wednesday morning near the mountain community of Pine Valley.

"We have been confronted with a tragedy that is every service family’s worst fear," said Lt. Col. Nicholas J. Harvey, commanding officer of the squadron. "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."

The military confirmed Thursday that all five Marines were killed when their helicopter went down during stormy weather, and efforts were underway to recover their remains, which will take weeks because of the rough terrain and weather, said Col. James C. Ford, operations officer with 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. In the meantime.

Marines are staying with the remains round-the-clock to adhere to their ethos of never leaving any Marine behind.

The military is investigating the crash.

-The Associated Press contributed to this report

The Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion, a heavy-lift helicopter operated by the United States military is pictured in flight during the international military exercise Cold Response 22, at Setermoen, North of in Norway, on March 22, 2022. Cold Response i