Shore resident is confirmed dead in Iraq

Army helicopter pilot, 28, crashed Jan. 25 in rescue try

6th from state to die

February 17, 2004|By Ryan Davis | Ryan Davis,SUN STAFF

More than three weeks after Adam Mooney's family learned that he was missing after a helicopter crash in Iraq, they have received the news they expected and dreaded: The Eastern Shore Army first lieutenant is dead.

A Tacoma, Wash., newspaper first reported that Mooney's body was found Friday by Mosul residents.

Maj. David Farlow of U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Fla., confirmed yesterday that the remains have been recovered for all troops involved in a series of Jan. 25 mishaps.

Mooney, 28, becomes the sixth Maryland servicemen killed since March 20, when the United States and its allies launched the war on Iraq.

"I'm really not in the mood to talk right now," his wife, Katie Mooney, said yesterday when reached at her parents' house in Arkansas.

Neither Mooney's father, B. Patrick Mooney of Cambridge, nor his mother, Wyoma McCray of West Virginia, could be reached for comment yesterday.

His first wife and young daughter, who lives on the Eastern Shore, also could not be reached yesterday.

Mooney had told family members that if anything happened to him, he didn't want his daughter to know until there was no chance of him returning. His daughter was age 8 at the time of the crash.

Mooney and Chief Warrant Officer Patrick D. Dorff, 32, of Minnesota were sent Jan. 25 in an OH-58 Kiowa Warrior helicopter to search for Staff Sgt. Christopher Bunda, 29, the last soldier missing from a capsized watercraft on the Tigris River. The capsizing killed two Iraqi police officers and a translator.

Witnesses to the helicopter crash said the Kiowa Warrior hit power lines and plummeted into the river.

Dorff's body was discovered four days after the crash. Bunda's was discovered Feb. 9. Residents in Mosul found Mooney's body Friday and alerted troops to it, according to The News Tribune, which has a reporter covering troops in the area.

Mooney was a 1993 Cambridge-South Dorchester High School graduate and 2000 University of Maryland Eastern Shore graduate. His unit - 3rd Squadron, 17th Calvary, 10th Mountain Division - left Fort Drum, N.Y., for the Middle East on Oct. 26.

Hours before the fatal crash, Mooney made a round of calls to his family, assuring them that he was doing well. They had become concerned because of an earlier helicopter crash.

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