Fallen First Lt. Samuel D. Phillips returned home to Moore County late Friday afternoon. He died last week when his military aircraft crashed in California.
Phillips was among four Marines killed when their helicopter crashed while they were practicing desert landings in Southern California.
The Marines took off from a ground-combat center in the city of Twentynine Palms for the routine training mission.
The massive CH-53E Super Stallion crashed about 100 miles (160 kilometers) to the south in a remote desert area just outside of El Centro, near the U.S.-Mexico border. There were no survivors.
Phillips’ body was met by family and a Marine Guard as his casket was placed in a vehicle for the ride to Boles Funeral Home in Southern Pines.
Photo courtesy of U.S. Marine Corps.
The NC State Highway Patrol provided an escort as well as members of the Patriot Guard Riders of NC.
As the procession passed through Sanford, firefighter and police officers stood at attention with a large American flag and saluted the procession as it passed through.
Once in Moore County, Southern Pines Firefighters lined the Pennsylvania overpass. As the procession neared Bole Funeral Home, it went under a large American Flag being draped over the motorcade by the Southern Pines Fire ladder truck.
First Lt. Phillips’ funeral service was held Saturday at Community Presbyterian Church in Pinehurst with full military honors including a 21-gun salute and a flyover by two CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters.
This article was written with the help of The Associated Press
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