2/12/24 - Local Marine Lost Life In Training Exercise

file image - CH-53E Helicopter

Capt. Miguel Nava was one of five Marines who lost their lives when a helicopter crashed during a training exercise in California.

-The five US Marines who died after their military helicopter went down in a mountainous terrain in San Diego last week have been identified. Military officials identified the men as Lance Cpl. Donovan Davis, 21; Sgt. Alec Langen, 23; Capt. Benjamin Moulton, 27; Capt. Jack Casey, 26, and Capt. Miguel Nava, 28.

The helicopter – a CH-53E Super Stallion – was reported overdue while en route from Creech Air Force base near Las Vegas to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego.  The crew was conducting routine flight training.

The crew was flying in a historic storm that dumped snow and rain across California, conditions that also hampered search and rescue efforts.

The marines were flying through the rugged Pine Valley area, and were discovered about an hour’s drive outside of the small mountain town of the same name. Pine Valley is about 3,700ft (1,127 meters) in elevation in the Cuyamaca mountains, and includes the region’s highest mountain, Cuyamaca Peak.

The craft was discovered by civilian authorities about an hour’s drive outside San Diego, just after 9am local time on Wednesday.

Cpt. Nava was listed as being from Traverse City, Michigan but grew up in West Michigan and graduated from Comstock Park High School in 2013. 

He is survived by his parents, Lisa and Javier Nava, his brother Nikolas Nava, and his wife Ryann Nava and son Luca Nava. 

Capt. Miguel Nava, 28, of Traverse City, was among a group of Marines killed in a helicopter crash outside San Diego on Feb. 6, 2024

Capt. Miguel Nava, 28, of Traverse City, was among a group of Marines killed in a helicopter crash outside San Diego on Feb. 6, 2024© 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing

 

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