April 30th, 2012

California still leads nation in Iraq, Afghan war casualties

When Chief Warrant Officer Nicholas Johnson’s Black Hawk helicopter went down during bad weather April 19, killing him and three others, he became the 671st service member from California to die in the combined Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

A brief Department of Defense statement from April 24 said the crash occurred in Afghanistan’s Helmand province. Johnson and the rest of his crew were assigned to an Army aviation regiment based in Hawaii. U-T San Diego later reported that the 27-year-old Johnson was on his first deployment, attended Chino High School in San Bernardino County and is survived by a wife and child.

California continues to lead the nation in fatal sacrifices made to the conflicts, according to an analysis of the most recent Defense Department data available. The figures, which include both hostile and non-hostile casualties, cover three major operations across the two wars: Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn. Read more.

Photo: Chief Warrant Officer Nicholas Johnson. Credit: U.S. Army

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