SAN CLEMENTE ISLAND, Calif. (KGTV) -- The two soldiers killed in an aircraft accident on San Clemente Island have been identified, the U.S. Army Special Operations Command said Saturday.
According to the news release, 33-year-old Staff Sgt. Vincent P. Marketta of New Jersey and 22-year-old Sgt. Taylor M. Shelton of San Bernardino died on August 27 during an aviation training mishap.
Marketta enlisted in the Army in 2011 as a 15T UH-60 Black Hawk Repairer and was assigned to the 160th Special Operations Regiment. While assigned to the unit, Marketta deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He also deployed multiple times to Iraq for Operation Inherent Resolve, according to the Army.
Shelton enlisted in the Army in 2016 also as a 15T UH-60 Black Hawk Repairer and was assigned to the same unit as Marketta. During his service, Shelton deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
“The loss of Staff Sgt. Marketta and Sgt. Shelton has left a scar in this Regiment that will never completely heal,” said Col. Andrew R. Graham, commander of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne).
“Their level of dedication to the 160th SOAR (A) and their exemplary service in the Army is the embodiment of what it means to be a Night Stalker and a Soldier. Our priority now is to ensure the Families of our fallen warriors receive our complete support as we work through this tragedy together. We ask that you keep Staff Sgt. Marketta, Sgt. Shelton, their Families and fellow Night Stalkers in your thoughts and prayers.”
The incident comes just weeks after nine servicemembers, eight Marines and one sailor, were killed in an amphibious assault vehicle training accident off the coast of San Clemente Island.