Naval officer killed in Red Sea had local ties
Flags will be flown at half-staff today at all state offices to honor the Aurora-based Navy sailor who was killed Sept. 22 in a helicopter crash in the Central Red Sea,
Chief Warrant Officer Jonathan S. Gibson, 32, was one of two sailors who were killed in an MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter crash. The Knighthawk helicopter, attached to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 6, crashed after conducting a landing on the deck of the guided-missile destroyer USS William P. Lawrence.
The other officer killed was Lt. Cmdr. Landon L. Jones, 35, of Lompoc, Calif.
Gibson and Jones were not found and officials called off the search for them last week.
CWO Gibson was among the best of Oregon, serving both his state and nation, said Governor John Kitzhaber, in a press release. My thoughts are with his family and his unit during this difficult time. His death is tragic and he will be missed by man, but his legacy of service and sacrifice will never be forgotten.
Gibsons family, which maintains an Aurora address, declined to be interviewed, according to Lt. Reagan Lauritzen, Navy spokeswoman.
Gibsons stepmother, Kelly Gibson, was quoted in The Oregonian as saying Gibson was a dedicated family man known for being athletic, having a sharp sense of humor and showing a strong sense of duty. We found out about this on Sunday and were all still very much in shock, Kelly Gibson told The Oregonian. He loved his job and his family very, very much.
Gibson had been assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Six in San Diego, Calif. and had been stationed there since July, 2000, according to the U.S. Navy. He was not listed as a graduate of North Marion or St. Paul school districts.