Sailors Killed in Crash Honored on Midway

More than 1,000 people attended the services aboard the Midway

The Navy held a memorial service Thursday in honor of five sailors who died last week when a helicopter crashed off San Diego's coast.

Friends and family members of the victims gathered aboard the Midway during the afternoon to remember those killed.

One of the airmen who died was Lt. Cmdr. Eric Purvis of Poway. One of his best friends gave a moving speech remembering him.

"Some people define themselves by their jobs -- not Eric Purvis," the friend said. "He was a husband and father first, pilot second. He would rather be playing on the floor with trucks with his boys and was immediately in love with his daughter."

Also killed in the crash were Lt. Allison Oubre, 27, of Slidell, La.; Chief Petty Officer Samuel “Grant” Kerslake, 41, of Hot Springs, Ark.; Petty Officer 2nd Class Aaron Clingman, 25, of Bend, Ore.; and Petty Officer 3rd Class Sean Ward, 20, of Lovelock, Nev.

The HH-60 Seahawk helicopter the sailors were riding in took off from the  USS Nimitz on a training mission and went down about 13 miles southwest of San Diego.
Two of the crew members' bodies were never found. The investigation into why the chopper crashed is still ongoing.

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