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First Name: Jonathan

Last Name: McColley

Birthplace: Gettysburg, PA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Middle Name: Eric

Date of Birth: 01 June 1982

Date of Death: 17 February 2006

Rank: Sergeant

Years Served:
Jonathan Eric McColley

•  Afghanistan War (Operation Enduring Freedom) (2001 - present)
•  Iraq War (Operation Iraqi Freedom) (2003 - 2011)


Jonathan Eric McColley
Sergeant, U. S. Marine Corps
Operation Iraqi Freedom

Jonathan Eric McColley was born on 1 June 1982 in Gettysburg, Adams County, PA. He was the son of John E. and Susan Banks McColley. Eric attended Eisenhower Elementary School. He was involved with little league baseball, AYSO Soccer, rock climbing, and swimming. Eric's scouting career began with Tiger Cubs and culminated when awarded the rank of Eagle Scout, Troop 73, Gettysburg Presbyterian Church.

He worked at the Gettysburg YWCA and the Gettysburg Country Club as a lifeguard. During this period Eric taught many of the area's youth to swim. He was also active in the local Red Cross teaching CPR.

Eric graduated from Gettysburg High School in 2000. While at GHS he was a member of the Outdoor Club and the Varsity Swim Team for all four years.

Military Service

In the fall of 1999, Eric enlisted in the Marine Corps and graduated from Marine Basic Training at Parris Island, SC, in November 2000.

During his service, Eric was stationed at Miramar, CA, with 101st Fighter Squadron, Okinawa, HMM 263 (Japan MACs 36), and New River, NC with HMH 464, 461, and 263. It was while attached to the HMH 263 and the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit that Eric served Operation Iraqi Freedom. In the summer of 2005 he volunteered for duty in Djibouti. His desire was to earn his flight wings before leaving the Air Wing and had his wings "pinned" just weeks before his death.

He was attached to Marine Helicopter Squadron 464 based out of Marine Corps air station New River, NC. The helicopter squadron was deployed to Djibouti as part of the combined Joint Task Force participating in counter terrorism missions throughout Northern Africa.

Eric had just completed his first five-year stint with the military and was less than two months away from being rotated out of Africa. He was a squad member, first as a grounds crewmember then on the flight team. He had been in Djibouti since October and was on a six-month deployment.

On 17 February 2006, Eric was killed in a helicopter crash off the Gulf of Aden, near the northern coastal town of Ras Siyyan in Djibouti.

Death and Burial

Sergeant Jonathan Eric McColley died on 17 February 2006. He is buried at Quantico National Cemetery in Quantico, Prince William County, VA.

He is survived by his parents; one sister, Cheryl Newbanks of Hampton, VA; one nephew, Etahn Newbanks; paternal grandparents, CE and Marion McColley of Deland, FL; maternal grandfather, Russell Bands of Stittsville, Ont., Canada; five aunts; three uncles; and eight cousins in the US and Canada. He was preceded in death by his maternal grandmother, Ada Banks.

Honoree ID: 2173   Created by: MHOH




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