Body of Marine from Pinehurst who once served in Jacksonville returns

1st Lt. Samuel Phillips (U.S. Marine Corps photo)

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The body of a local Marine who died in a California helicopter crash last week has been returned home.

First Lt. Samuel D. Phillips' body arrived at Raleigh-Durham International Airport on Friday.

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A total of four Marines were killed in a helicopter crash during a training exercise in California last Tuesday. The Marines were assigned to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 465, Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, MCAS Miramar.

The 27-year-old was a pilot. He joined the Marine Corps in August 2013.

Miramar air station in San Diego said those killed included 28-year-old Capt. Samuel Schultz of Huntington Valley, Pennsylvania, and 27-year-old 1st Lt. Samuel Phillips of Pinehurst, North Carolina.

Both were pilots, with Schultz joining the Marines in 2012 and Phillips in 2013.

Samuels had previously been stationed at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida; Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas; and MCAS New River in Jacksonville. Phillips' previous duty stations include NAS Pensacola, NAS Corpus Christi and MCAS New River in Jacksonville. He had not deployed.

Also killed was 33-year-old Gunnery Sgt. Richard Holley of Dayton, Ohio. The helicopter crew chief was the longest-serving Marine among those killed, joining in 2003, and had been deployed to Iraq twice, the air base said.

The youngest Marine killed was 24-year-old Lance Cpl. Taylor Conrad of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, another helicopter crew chief who became a father in October and was remembered by friends and family as just as caring as he was tough.

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