Army Identifies Officer Who Died in Helicopter Incident at Fort Stewart

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An undated photo of Capt. James Bellew
An undated photo of Capt. James Bellew (Spc. Alexandria Waldron/U.S. Army)

The Army released the name late Wednesday of an officer who died at Fort Stewart, Georgia, on Tuesday morning in an incident involving two HH-60 helicopters.

Capt. James Bellew, 26, was found dead at the site of the incident at Wright Army Airfield. A spokesperson for the base declined to comment on if there were other soldiers injured, what the condition of the two helicopters are, or what led to Bellew’s death.

Bellew, a medical officer, entered the Army in 2017. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division. He had served at Fort Stewart since 2018, after previously being stationed at Camp Casey, South Korea.

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“The loss of James is an immeasurable tragedy to his family, friends, crew and fellow soldiers,” Col. Eric Vanek, the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade commander said in a statement issued to the press.

Bellew was a platoon leader in his company where his daily duties included medical evacuations at Fort Stewart, including moving critically ill COVID-19 patients to off-post medical facilities, according to a statement from the service.

His awards include an Army Achievement Medal, Army Aviator Badge and the Expert Field Medical Badge.

The incident follows a string of aviation crashes this year, including an MV-22B Osprey crash in March in Norway that killed four Marines. In February, two Utah National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters crashed, with none of the crew injured.

-- Steve Beynon can be reached at Steve.Beynon@military.com. Follow him on Twitter @StevenBeynon.

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