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Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Philip E. Windorski

Died January 26, 2009 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

35, of Bovey, Minn.; assigned to the 6th Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.; died Jan. 26 in Kirkuk, Iraq, from wounds sustained when two OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters crashed. Also killed were Chief Warrant Officer 2 Matthew G. Kelley, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joshua M. Tillery and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Benjamin H. Todd.

Soldier was close to retirement

The Associated Press

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. — A Minnesota woman says her son was among four Americans killed when two U.S. helicopters crashed in northern Iraq.

Ruth Windorski of Grand Rapids says she learned Monday that her 36-year-old son, Philip Windorski Jr., was among those killed in the single deadliest incident for U.S. troops in four months.

Philip Windorski grew up in Grand Rapids, in northern Minnesota, and was recently stationed out of Fort Drum, N.Y.

His mother says Windorski was a couple of years away from retirement, but planned to re-up. She says he was on his third tour of Iraq. He leaves behind a wife and three children.

His mother says Windorski “was a great pilot, and he loved the Army more than anything.”

A U.S. military statement says the crash did not appear to be a result of hostile fire.

His death brings to 75 the number of people with strong Minnesota ties who have died in connection with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Army Chief Warrant Officer Philip E. Windorski Jr. remembered

The Associated Press

As a father, Philip E. Windorski Jr. spent time with his children and helped coach football and baseball. His wife said that he was famous for his home-brewed beer and it was his hope to open a microbrewery after retiring from the military.

“My husband was proud to be in the military, but he loved being an aviator,” Karin Windorski said. “But once he was out of that uniform, he was all about his family. He loved us and he was a devoted husband and my best friend.”

Windorski, 35, of Bovey, Minn., was killed Jan. 26 when two OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters crashed in Kirkuk. He was a 1991 high school graduate and was assigned to Fort Drum.

He was on his third tour of duty in Iraq and had also deployed to Bosnia for five months following the terrorist attacks of Sept.

11, 2001.

His mother, Ruth Windorski, said that being in the Army “was all he ever he wanted to do, and he died doing what he truly loved.”

He married his wife, a fellow soldier stationed at Fort Hood, on July 4, 1998. He also is survived by his two children, Austin, 9, and Emmalyn, 6 and stepdaughter, Miranda, 14.

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