Honor The Fallen
Honoring those who fought and died in Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn
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Marine 1st Lt. Timothy Louis Ryan

Died May 19, 2003 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom


30, of Aurora, Ill.; assigned to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 364, Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Camp Pendleton, Calif.; killed in a CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter crash in the Shatt al Hillah Canal in Iraq.

Timothy Louis Ryan, a music major in college, joined the Marines to play percussion in the U.S. Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, an elite ensemble also known as The Commandant’s Own. Judith Ryan said her son loved traveling with the corps to Paris and all over the United States.

He also found a new love in the Marines: flying. This was something of a surprise to his mother.

“He said he would love to fly things, but when he was a kid he said he would like to be a chef, too, so who knew?” she said.

Ryan, 30, of Aurora, Ill., was one of four Camp Pendleton Marines who died May 19 when their CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter went down in the Shatt al Hillah Canal shortly after takeoff. It had been on a resupply mission in support of civil-military operations.

He is survived by his wife, Michelle.

Will Lahvic, who was in the high school band with Ryan and followed him to Illinois State University, called his friend an “honest, straightforward guy” and talented musician.

“He was into drumming, but he fell in love with flying helicopters, too,” Lahvic said. “He died doing something that he truly wanted to be doing.”

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