Greensboro man among dead in military helicopter crash off Virginia coast

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- The U.S. Navy has confirmed that one of the two crew members killed after a Navy helicopter went down Wednesday off the Virginia Beach coast was from Greensboro, according to WTKR.

Lt. J. Wesley Van Dorn, 29, of Greensboro, along with Petty Officer Brian Collins, 25, of Truckee, Calif., were identified as the two crew members killed in the crash.

Van Dorn was a 2002 graduate of Southeast Guilford High School.

“I can't say enough about how much I loved and respected him. [He was] one of the finest and most unforgettable students I have ever had in my classroom," said one of his former teachers at Southeast Guilford.

“Wes was one of those rare and special students that you never forget. My heart is broken for his family. I will be keeping each of them in my prayers," said another of his former teachers.

The Navy MH-53E Sea Dragon was carrying five crew members when it went down. Two other crew members were sent to the hospital and a search was conducting for a missing crew member.

One of the victims hospitalized was released Thursday and the search for the missing crew member has been suspended as of 3:30 p.m. Thursday.

The helicopter was performing routine airborne mine countermeasure training operations with another MH-53E when it went down.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation.

Source: WTKR


  • Conan

    Another example of the danger of being a soldier.The greatest people giving all. Yet our government cuts from them and gives congress raises. These men and women never know what will happen and still volunteer. God Bless them and their families.

  • Tim

    We appreciate your service Lt. Dorn. May you rest in peace with the other fallen and I hope your family knows you died doing what you loved – serving for our freedom. Others will never know the sacrifice you gave each and everyday, but we all know you were a hero!

  • Charles Canham, Former USN Sailor

    Fair Winds and Following Seas to my Late Shipmates…May you rest in peace and your family find closure for the loss of OUR Heroes. Thank you for your Service and May God Bless.

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