Darrell Schumann

HAMPTON, VA, US

U.S. Marine Corps

LCPL, C CO, 1ST BN, 3D MAR, (31ST MEU, 1ST MAR DIV), 3D MAR DIV, KANEOHE BAY, HI

01/26/2005, KOREAN VILLAGE, IRAQ


Just 12 hours before he and his fellow Marines died Wednesday, in a helicopter crash in western Iraq, Lance Corporal Darrell J. Schumann had sent his photo via a computer image to his parents here.

“Three hours later he called us to say he had one more mission to do,” Retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant Richmon Schumann, said Friday, shortly after receiving confirmation his son had died.

“They were excited about the prospect of moving over to rejoin their unit because they had been pulled off the main unit to fight in Fallujah.”

Darrell, 25, who joined the Marine Corps in June 2002, was a heavy machine gunner who had been in Iraq since September, preparing to end his seven-month deployment.

He had survived the fierce door-to-door fighting in the former rebel stronghold in early November and was winding down, expecting to come home in another 10 days.

He was a member of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Expeditionary Force, from Marine Corps Base Hawaii, and was among the first to enter the battle where U.S. and coalition forces fought to rid the city of insurgents, his father said.

“They were proud of what they had done. They were so very proud of what they were able to accomplish in Fallujah.

“Charlie company was the first to reach the city and it was his company that was pushing through. They were the ones doing the door-to-door,” his father said.

“His last letter to us, which we received last week, said: ‘I do wish America could see how awesome a job we are doing over here without it being construed by the Media. It’s really an honor to be fighting alongside these men,”’ he wrote.

Darrell was the only Marine in a military family where his father served in the Air Force for more than 20 years, reaching the top of the enlisted ranks. His mother, Mary, is still on active duty at Langley Air Force Base. She too is a Chief Master Sergeant.

His wife, Nicole, remains in Hawaii where Darrell’s unit was based. They had no children. Her father also served as an Air Force Chief Master Sergeant.

Darrell had moved with the family from a former assignment in Georgia to Hampton in 1999 when his parents were transferred to Langley. He attended high school in Georgia, but worked in Colonial Williamsburg in the accounts receivable department before he enlisted in the Marines, his father said. His brother, Richmon Schumann, 28, is a network engineer for Cox Communications.

Darrell Schumann’s was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Darrell’s portrait is not yet on a poster