August 6 marks six years since deadly ‘Extortion 17’ helicopter crash

August 6, 2017 marks six years since 30 American military servicemen and a U.S. military dog were killed when a CH-47 Chinook helicopter — call sign Extortion 17 — was shot down in Afghanistan.

Extortion 17 remains the greatest single loss of life since the Afghan war started in 2001.

Fifteen Navy SEALs from Naval Special Warfare Development Group’s Gold Squadron and five U.S. Naval Special Warfare support personnel based in Virginia Beach were among the victims.

The following sailors assigned to an East Coast-based Naval Special Warfare unit were killed:

  • Lieutenant Commander (SEAL) Jonas B. Kelsall, 32, of Shreveport, Louisiana
  • Special Warfare Operator Master Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Louis J. Langlais, 44, of Santa Barbara, California
  • Special Warfare Operator Senior Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Thomas A. Ratzlaff, 34, of Green Forest, Arkansas
  • Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Senior Chief Petty Officer (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist) Kraig M. Vickers 36, of Kokomo, Hawaii,
  • Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Brian R. Bill, 31, of Stamford, Connecticut
  • Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) John W. Faas, 31, of Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Kevin A. Houston, 35, of West Hyannisport, Massachusetts
  • Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Matthew D. Mason, 37, of Kansas City, Missouri
  • Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Stephen M. Mills, 35, of Fort Worth, Texas,
  • Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Chief Petty Officer (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist/Diver) Nicholas H. Null, 30, of Washington, West Virginia
  • Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Robert J. Reeves, 32, of Shreveport, Louisiana
  • Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Heath M. Robinson, 34, of Detroit, Michigan
  • Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Darrik C. Benson, 28, of Angwin, California
  • Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL/Parachutist) Christopher G. Campbell, 36, of Jacksonville, North Carolina
  • Information Systems Technician Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist) Jared W. Day, 28, of Taylorsville, Utah,
  • Master-at-Arms Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist) John Douangdara, 26, of South Sioux City, Nebraska
  • Cryptologist Technician (Collection) Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist) Michael J. Strange, 25, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL/Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist) Jon T. Tumilson, 35, of Rockford, Iowa,
  • Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Aaron C. Vaughn, 30, of Stuart, Florida, and
  • Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Jason R. Workman, 32, of Blanding, Utah.

The following sailors assigned to a West Coast-based Naval Special Warfare unit were killed: 

  • Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Jesse D. Pittman, 27, of Ukiah, California, and
  • Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 2nd Class (SEAL) Nicholas P. Spehar, 24, of Saint Paul, Minnesota

The soldiers killed were: 

  • Chief Warrant Officer David R. Carter, 47, of Centennial, Colo.  He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), Aurora, Colorado
  • Chief Warrant Officer Bryan J. Nichols, 31, of Hays, Kan.  He was assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), New Century, Kansas
  • Staff Sgt. Patrick D. Hamburger, 30, of Lincoln, Neb.  He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), Grand Island, Nebraska
    * Sergeant Hamburger was posthumously promoted to Staff Sergeant.
  • Sgt. Alexander J. Bennett, 24, of Tacoma, Wash.  He was assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), New Century, Kansas; and
  • Spc. Spencer C. Duncan, 21, of Olathe, Kan.  He was assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), New Century, Kansas

The airmen killed were: 

  • Tech. Sgt. John W. Brown, 33, of Tallahassee, Florida
  • Staff Sgt. Andrew W. Harvell, 26, of Long Beach, California; and
  • Tech. Sgt. Daniel L. Zerbe, 28, of York, Pennsylvania

All three airmen were assigned to the 24th Special Tactics Squadron, Pope Field, North Carolina

Seven Afghan National Army commandos and one Afghan civilian interpreter were also killed in the crash.