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Army Spc. William Dave Dusenbery

Died November 15, 2003 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

30, of Fairview Heights, Ill.; assigned to the 4th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.; killed Nov. 15 when two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters crashed in Mosul, Iraq.

Service held near St. Louis for soldier killed in Iraq

Associated Press

ST. LOUIS — Mourners gathered at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery Dec. 4 to remember a man who they said lived to fly.

Spc. William David Dusenbery, 30, a soldier from Fairview Heights, Ill., died in a helicopter collision over Mosul, Iraq, on Nov. 15.

Dusenbery, who went by his middle name “Dave,” was a helicopter mechanic with the 101st Airborne Division. He and 16 other soldiers died in the collision.

Rev. Anthony Holder of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in O’Fallon, Ill., told about 150 mourners that Dusenbery died while serving his country and doing what he liked best.

Dusenbery’s father, also named William, and the woman the soldier planned to marry, Jessica Wheat, said in recent weeks that Dusenbery loved to be around the Black Hawk helicopters and other aircraft. They say he planned to make the military his career.

Nine soldiers from Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., arrived more than an hour before the 11 a.m. ceremony.

Then a 17-car funeral procession arrived, following a cruiser from the Fairview Heights Police Department.

Two soldiers lifted Dusenbery’s body from the hearse in a cremation vault rather than a coffin.

Holder recited the Lord’s Prayer and the 23rd Psalm, and medals were presented to Dusenbery’s family by Maj. Gen. Robert Dail, director of operations for the U.S. Transportation Command at Scott Air Force Base.

Dusenbery was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.

Dail gave the American flag to one of Dusenbery’s daughters, Aubrey, 9, of Arcata, Calif. She placed the medals on top of the wooden flag case.

Taps and the traditional 15-round rifle volley ended the ceremony.

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