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PA native among four Marines killed in helicopter crash

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CALIFORNIA — A Marine from suburban Philadelphia has been identified as one of the four individuals killed in Tuesday’s helicopter crash in southern California.

Capt. Samuel Schultz, of Huntingdon Valley, was a pilot assigned to the CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter when it crashed, according to a U.S. Marine Corps press release. Capt. Schultz, 28, joined the Marine Corps in May 2012.

The three other fallen Marines are 27-year-old First Lt. Samuel Phillips, of North Carolina, 33-year-old Gunnery Sgt. Richard Holley, of Ohio, and 24-year-old Lance Cpl. Joseph Conrad, of Louisiana, the release says.

The four Marines departed from Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms, California, to conduct squadron training consisting of aircraft landings in unimproved areas, the release states. The cause of the crash is currently under investigation.

“The loss of our Marines weighs heavy on our hearts,” said Maj. Gen. Mark Wise, commanding general of 3rd MAW. “Our priority is to provide support for our families and HMH-465 during this critical time.”

“The hardest part of being a Marine is the tragic loss of life of a fellow brother-in-arms,” said Col. Craig Leflore, commanding officer of Marine Aircraft Group 16. “My deepest sympathies go out to the families and friends of Capt. Samuel Shultz, 1st Lt. Samuel Phillips, Gunnery Sgt. Derik Holley, and Lance Cpl. Taylor Conrad. These “Warhorse” Marines brought joy and laughter to so many around them. They each served honorably, wore the uniform proudly and were a perfect example of what makes our Marine Corps great – its people! They will forever be in our hearts and minds.”