North Carolina Marine killed in California helicopter crash

The deceased Marines, from left to right, were Capt. Samuel A. Schultz, First Lt. Samuel D. Phillips, Gunnery Sgt. Derik R. Holley and Lance Cpl. Taylor J. Conrad. (U.S. Marine Corps)

Military officials have identified the Marines killed when their helicopter crashed on a training mission in the California desert.

Those killed were identified Thursday as 28-year-old Capt. Samuel Schultz of Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania; 27-year-old 1st Lt. Samuel Phillips of Pinehurst, North Carolina; 33-year-old Gunnery Sgt. Richard Holley of Dayton, Ohio; and 24-year-old Lance Cpl. Taylor Conrad of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The Marines were with the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing’s 465th squadron out of the Miramar air station in San Diego.

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

Their CH-53E Super Stallion crashed Tuesday in the desert outside El Centro, near the U.S.-Mexico border.

Col. Craig Leflore, a commanding officer, says “these ‘warhorse’ Marines brought joy and laughter to so many around them,” and they will never be forgotten.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.