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  • Christina Drummond

Lieutenant Commander Landon Jones and Chief Warrant Officer Jonathan Gibson, Helicopter Sea Combat S

Remembering the Fallen: on the 22nd of September, 2013, Lieutenant Commander Landon Jones and Chief Warrant Officer Jonathan Gibson, assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Six, died in an MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter crash while operating in the Red Sea with the destroyer William P. Lawrence.

It was claimed that the accident which tore the still-spinning helicopter off the destroyer's flight deck was foreseeable and caused by the flight deck’s low freeboard, a well-known defect. Their widows filed a lawsuit and claimed that the service ignored thirteen hazard reports and nine mishap reports over the years that warned of the dangers posed by the flight deck, estimated at only seven feet above the water at the time of this mishap. A Navy Times investigation found that aviators had repeatedly warned of the danger, and that the Navy failed to act until the deaths of these two men. Lieutenant Commander Jones graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2001. His medals include the Navy and Marine Corps commendation and achievement medals, the National Defense Medal and the Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal, among others. Landon, of Lompoc, California, was 35 years old, married with two sons, one of whom was two months old. Chief Warrant Officer Gibson graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oklahoma, then joined the Navy in 1999, started in the enlisted ranks and less than 10 years later received his commission as an officer. His medals include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, among others. Jonathan, of Aurora, Oregon, was 32 years old and married with two small children.

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