Navy sailor killed in training accident was a Texas man

by: LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Navy said Wednesday that the Naval Special Warfare sailor killed in a training accident in Virginia was Electronics Technician 1st Class Ryan DeKorte of Lubbock, Texas.

DeKorte died Monday of injuries sustained late last week in a helicopter landing incident during an exercise at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in Virginia. He was 35 years old.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the DeKorte family. Ryan was an exceptional teammate, and we mourn his tragic loss,” said Rear Admiral HW Howard III, Commander Naval Special Warfare Command. “Ryan was one of our finest combat support technicians, possessing all the attributes that make our force combat ready for very complex, high risk missions in the defense of the nation.”

Howard said “DeKorte’s humility, stewardship, and commitment to Naval Special Warfare left an indelible mark on his teammates and our community.”

According to a Navy official, the helicopter suffered a hard landing near DeKorte, who was on the ground and not in the plane. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to provide details that have not yet been made public.

DeKorte joined the Navy in 2014. After his initial training, he served aboard the USS Jason Dunham, a Navy destroyer, before being assigned to Naval Special Warfare in 2020.

His identity has been withheld until Wednesday due to family notifications.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

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