RELEASE NUMBER: 100421-01A
DATE POSTED: APRIL 21, 2010
PRESS RELEASE: USASOC Soldier killed in aircraft crash
U.S. Army Special Operations Command Public Affairs
|Staff Sgt. James R. Patton|
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service, April 21, 2010)—An Army Ranger died April 18 while conducting combat operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom with Company B, 3d Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment.
Staff Sgt. James R. Patton was conducting a combat operation in northern Iraq when the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter in which he was riding crashed.
“Staff Sergeant Jimmy Patton was the life of his platoon and the epitome of a selfless servant," said Col. Dan Walrath, 3rd Battalion, Ranger Regiment commander. "He made the best of every situation regardless of circumstance and he always exuded an easy confidence that ‘it could be done.’"
Patton was on his seventh deployment in support of the War on Terror. He had previously deployed twice to Iraq and four times to Afghanistan.
“Staff Sergeant James Patton was the epitome of the American Ranger - Warrior, Patriot, and dedicated to mission accomplishment. Staff Sgt. Patton was killed in a helicopter crash on one of the most significant missions since the beginning of the Iraq War,” said Col. Michael E. Kurilla, 75th Ranger Regiment commander. “Jimmy trained his Rangers well; those that were not injured secured the crash site, evacuated the wounded, and then successfully completed the mission. Staff Sgt. Patton’s spirit lives on in the Rangers he led in combat and the friends and families he touched throughout his life.”
Patton enlisted in the U.S. Army in July 2004, and following completion of One Station Unit Training and the Ranger Indoctrination Program, he was assigned to Company B, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning, Ga. During his service with the 3rd Ranger Battalion, he served as a grenadier, fire team leader, and rifle squad leader.
Patton is survived by his wife Beatriz and daughter Cecilia of Columbus, Ga., and his parents Command Sgt. Maj. Gregory and Sheila Patton of Indian Mound, Tenn.; brother Cliff Edward Patton and sister Megan Sue Marie.