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Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Matthew G. Kelley

Died January 26, 2009 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom


30, of Cameron, Mo.; 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 Joshua M. Tillery, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Benjamin H. Todd and Chief Warrant Officer 3 Philip E. Windorski.

Drum soldier remembered for love of flying

The Associated Press

Matthew G. Kelley had wanted to fly since he was 9, said his father, Col. Stephen Kelley, who is retired. The younger man made the decision to fly Kiowa helicopters because he’d get more flying time.

“He really just wanted to fly,” said his father.

Kelley, 30, of Osborn, Mo., was killed Jan. 26 when two OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters crashed in Kirkuk. He was assigned to Fort Drum.

A “military brat” born in Germany, Matthew moved with the family from base to base until his father retired. After his family moved back to the United States from Germany, Matthew lived in Salt Lake City, Fort Monroe, Va. Sparta, Wis. and finally Osborn.

He read books about World War II with a voracious appetite, especially if they were about planes. His all-time favorite movie was “Top Gun,” said Chris Kelley, Matthew’s older brother.

He earned the Combat Infantry Badge and always wore it above his pilot wings. When other pilots would razz him about the badge, he’d just tell them they were jealous, his brother said.

He is survived by his wife, DaLana, and children, Megan, 6, and Tyler, 4.

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