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Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Bryan J. Nichols

Died August 6, 2011 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

31, of Hays, Kan.; assigned to 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), U.S. Army Reserve, New Century, Kan.; died Aug. 6 at COP Sayed Abad, Wardak province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when the CH-47 Chinook helicopter in which he was riding was shot down.

Reservist ‘had no enemies’

The Associated Press

Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Bryan Nichols, 31, a pilot from Kansas City, Mo., was eager to get back to flying after a stint handling paperwork as a unit administrator.

So when the word went out that people were needed to train for a mobilization, Nichols volunteered.

Nichols was one of three of the crew members aboard the downed Chinook from the same Army reserve unit — Bravo Company, 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment, based at Gardner, Kan. — killed Aug. 6 when a Chinook helicopter went down in Afghanistan, killing 30 U.S. troops.

Lt. Col. Richard Sherman, former commander of Nichols’ unit, said one of his favorite memories is flying a pace car with Nichols to Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.

“My happiest and saddest memories are now tied to him,” said Sherman, who was in command and working as an instructional pilot when Nichols joined his unit.

“He had no enemies. He was one everyone wanted to be around. You just liked flying with him because you knew he was going to improve as a young pilot and get better every time you flew with him.”

Funeral set for Kan. soldier in helicopter crash

The Associated Press

HAYS, Kan. — A Kansas soldier who died when the helicopter he was flying was shot down in Afghanistan will be memorialized this week in his hometown of Hays.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Bryan Nichols was among 30 U.S. troops killed Aug. 6 in the crash of the CH-47 Chinook helicopter.

The 31-year-old pilot grew up in Hays and graduated from Thomas More Prep-Marian High School. The Hays Daily News reports ( ) the funeral will be held Friday morning in the school's fieldhouse.

Nichols and his family lived in Kansas City, Mo. He served with the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment based at the New Century AirCenter in Gardner, Kan.

Two other reservists from the unit — 23-year-old Spc. Alexander Bennett, of Overland Park, and 21-year-old Spc. Spencer Duncan, of Olathe — also died in the crash.

Pilot killed in Afghanistan Chinook crash honored in hometown

The Associated Press

HAYS, Kan. — An Army pilot who died when his helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan is being honored with highway signs in his northwest Kansas hometown.

State officials and relatives of Chief Warrant Officer 2 Bryan Nichols were on hand for Wednesday’s unveiling of the signs in Hays.

The signs will designate the junction of Interstate 70 and U.S. 183 as the “CW2 Bryan J. Nichols Fallen Veterans Memorial Interchange.” Kansas lawmakers approved the honors earlier this year.

Nichols, 31, was flying a Chinook helicopter on Aug. 6 when it was shot down in eastern Afghanistan. He and 29 other service members on board were killed, including 22 Navy SEALS and three Air Force special operations personnel.

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