CRYSTAL LAKE, IL, US
U.S. Marine Corps
CAPT,HMH-363, MAG-24, (2D MAW, II MEF FWD), 1ST MAW, KANEOHE BAY, HI
01/19/2012, HELMAND PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN
Captain Nathan R. McHone, 29 died January 19, 2012, while conducting flight operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. His CH-53D helicopter crashed as the result of a catastrophic mechanical failure. Captain McHone graduated from Crystal Lake South High School in 2001. He graduated from Western Michigan University in 2005 majoring in aviation and business.
In September of 2005, Nathan was commissioned to the Marine Corps and reported to Basic School in Quantico, Va. After that, he went to Naval Aviation Command in Pensacola, Fla., as an entry-level student. He served there for two years, earning in 2007 the rank of First Lieutenant. He then was assigned to Heavy Marine Helicopter Training-302 squadron, Marine Aircraft Group-29, as a student pilot in Jacksonville, N.C.
He served there for six months. Nathan McHone then reported for duty with MAG-24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, as a Basic CH-53D pilot. He continued to advance as a Marine and was promoted to the rank of Captain. In October 2009, Nathan McHone transferred to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron-363, Marine Aircraft Group-24, 1st MAW, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.
He was part of the Lucky Red Lions helicopter squadron HMH-363. The unit’s mission was to provide assault support, transport Marines and critical supplies, as well as equipment during expeditionary operations. Nathan was on his second deployment to Afghanistan when he was killed in a helicopter crash supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Nathan was generous to a fault and the only thing bigger than his smile was his heart. He was admired for his positive attitude, self discipline, friendly and easy going demeanor. He was awarded two Air Medals, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and NATO Medal.