HOPE MILLS, N.C. (WNCN) — A Hope Mills soldier was among five Army aviators who went missing when a helicopter crashed last week off of Hawaii, officials said Monday.
The Coast Guard announced Monday it suspended the search for the missing crew, and the Army announced the soldiers’ duty status has been changed to whereabouts unknown.
“Operations have now shifted to recovery and salvage efforts supported by the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the 25th Infantry Division,” the division wrote in a news release. “There is no timetable for completion of these operations. The circumstances of this incident are currently under investigation.”
Last Tuesday, Wheeler Army Airfield lost communication with the crew of a Black Hawk helicopter taking part in nighttime training off the Hawaii coast.
“A decision to suspend searching without finding survivors is extremely difficult given the depth of its impact and I know I speak for the entire Coast Guard when I say our thoughts and prayers are with Army helicopter squadron and particularly with families and loved ones of those missing,” said Rear Adm. Vincent B. Atkins, commander, Coast Guard 14th District, in a news release.
Among those who disappeared when the Black Hawk crashed was 1st Lt. Kathryn Michelle Bailey, 26, of Hope Mills, the Army said. She was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division.
She joined the Army in January 2015, officials said.
Also missing on Chief Warrant Officer 3 Brian M. Woeber, 41, of Decatur, Alabama; Chief Warrant Officer 2 Stephen T. Cantrell, 32, of Wichita Falls, Texas; Staff Sgt. Abigail R. Milam, 33, of Jenkins, Kentucky; and Sgt. Michael L. Nelson, 30, of Antioch, Tennessee.
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