Augustan died in naval helicopter crash in Nevada

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Cmdr. Michael D. Sheahan: Augusta man was among five Navy personnel killed this week in a helicopter crash in Nevada

An Augusta man was among five Navy personnel killed this week in a helicopter crash in Nevada.

Cmdr. Michael D. Sheahan, an Academy of Richmond County graduate and highly decorated aviator, was commander of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 7, known as the Dusty Dogs, the Navy said Wednesday.

The crash occurred Monday about 10 miles west of Austin, Nev., after the SH-60F Seahawk helicopter struck high-voltage lines, a spokesman at Fallon Naval Air Station in Nevada said.

Cmdr. Sheahan, 40, won many awards as a cadet at Richmond Academy and always aspired to become an aviator, said his father, Robert "Buster" Sheahan of Augusta.

"He was a sharp young man," Mr. Sheahan said.

"From the time he went on his first midshipman's cruise and flew a helicopter, that's what he wanted to be, and he did it," he said.

At Richmond Academy, he was the first junior to make cadet colonel and later excelled at The Citadel, where he was a member of the elite Old Four Corps and graduated in 1989 with a degree in civil engineering.

Cmdr. Shehan was born and spent his childhood in Augusta.

"He was born on St. Patrick's Day, March 17," his father said. "We always kidded him about the fact that when he was little he thought the parade downtown was all for him."

During his naval career, Cmdr. Sheahan accumulated more than 2,800 flight hours in the SH-3H and H-60B/F/H helicopters, according to his Navy biography.

His awards include the Joint Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with three gold stars, the Joint Service Achievement Medal and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with two gold stars.

Cmdr. Sheahan was based at Jacksonville Naval Air Station, in Florida, where he lived with his wife, Kathleen, and their daughter, Makena and son, Aiden.

The Navy on Wednesday also released the names of four other Jacksonville-based crewmen killed in Monday's helicopter crash. They included:

- Lt. Richard Francis Andersen Jr., 27, of Virginia Beach, Va., a five-year Navy veteran.

- Petty Officer 1st Class William Weatherford, 30, of Wichita, Kansas, an 11-year Navy veteran.

- Petty Officer 2nd Class Jared John Rossetto, 24, of Corralitos, Calif., a five-year Navy veteran.

- Petty Officer 2nd Class Andrew Robert Bibbo, 22, of Clinton, Mass., a three-year Navy veteran.

Morris News Service reports were included in this story.

Reach Rob Pavey at (706) 868-1222, ext. 119, or rob.pavey@augustachronicle.com.