Marine Jonathan Wigley, Zulu Company, 45 Commando Royal Marines
Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2006, Marine Jonathan Wigley of Zulu Company, 45 Commando Royal Marines, died in Afghanistan during a joint Afghan and U.K. Task Force operation near Garmsir, a village which had been under attack by Taliban forces.
He was engaged in a gun battle when he was hit in the chest by a 20mm projectile fired from a U.S. F18 aircraft. The Narrative Verdict reads: “Marine Jonathan Wigley was on active service with his troop in a ditch lined by trees, 800m south south-west of Garmsir district centre during a major operation. A forward air controller with Marine Wigley's troop called in an air strike to strafe a line of trees running to the west and to the south of Zarif Kalay, a target already attacked a number of times successfully by the pilot. Shortly before 12.16pm local time, when the fatal shots were fired, the pilot of the aircraft, when he began his attack, misidentified the tree line where Marine Wigley's troop were as the target identified to him by the forward air controller some 430 metres further south. Marine Wigley was struck and killed." Although airlifted to the hospital at Camp Bastion, he could not be saved.
Marine Wigley had joined the Royal Marines at the age of seventeen, and served in Northern Ireland as well as with the Fleet Protection Group before attempting selection for 45 Commando’s Reconnaissance Troop, in which he excelled.
Lieutenant Colonel Duncan Dewar said: “Jonathan was an outstanding young Royal Marine whose tenacity, determination and professionalism shone through in everything he did. Extremely popular, with a lively sense of humour, he was very highly thought of by everyone who worked with him. He was an excellent Marine who died doing the job he loved and will be missed by all his friends in 45 Commando.”
Jonathan, from Melton Mowbray, was 21 years old.