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Army 1st Lt. Andrew C. Shields

Died December 9, 2004 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

25, of Campobello, S.C.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 151st Aviation Regiment, South Carolina Army National Guard, Columbia, S.C.; killed Dec. 9 in an Apache helicopter accident in Mosul, Iraq. Also killed was Army Chief Warrant Officer Patrick D. Leach.

Loved ones remember fallen pilot as hero

Associated Press

SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Friends and family remembered 25-year-old pilot Andrew Shields as a hero who never would have wanted the praise heaped on him at his funeral Saturday afternoon.

Shields, a lieutenant in the South Carolina National Guard, was killed Dec. 9 in Iraq along with fellow Guard pilot Chief Warrant Officer Patrick D. Leach of Rock Hill.

Nearly 800 people packed New Prospect Baptist Church and the neighboring gym, where the service was shown on closed-circuit television, to pay their last respects to the Campobello native.

“We just wanted to honor what he did,” cousin Casey Burnett said after the service. “He never thought of himself as doing anything, and that’s not true. He did a lot.”

The full military service included a 21-gun salute at graveside and a flyover from three AH-64 Apache helicopters like the one Shields flew.

Shields was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star.

Although most who knew him say Andrew Shields would have balked at a hero’s burial, his sister said his family wanted to make sure he was honored.

“He deserved it,” Julie Shields said. “He earned it.”

In addition to his sister, Andrew Shields is survived by his parents, Donald and Emily Burnett Shields; an older brother, Donald Shields II, and a twin brother, Philip.

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