Nation & World

Guilford soldier among 14 killed in Iraq chopper crash

A soldier from eastern Guilford County was among the 14 killed in a helicopter crash in Iraq on Wednesday while in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Department of Defense said late Thursday night.

It was the deadliest crash in the war since 2005, officials said.

Chief Warrant Officer Paul J. Flynn, 28, of Whitsett was piloting a Black Hawk helicopter in during a nighttime operation when the helicopter experienced a mechanical problem and went down in Multaka, in Northern Iraq. Whitsett is just west of Burlington.

Flynn enlisted in the Army in June 1997. In 2003, he graduated from the Warrant Officer Orientation Course and the Rotary Wing Aviation Course. He completed the electronic warfare officer course, aviation warrant officer basic course and the UH-60 Blackhawk aviator qualification course in 2004, and the aviation tactical operation officer course in 2006.

He joined his unit at Fort Polk as a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter pilot June 17, 2004, then relocated with the unit to Fort Lewis in August 2005.

His awards include the National Defense Service medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service medal, the Army Service ribbon and the Air Assault and Army Aviator badges.

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