Fallen Heroes of Operation Enduring Freedom

Remembering the servicemembers who died in the service of their country.

Marine Staff Sgt. Walter F. Cohee III

26, of Mardela Springs, Maryland.
Cohee died when a Marine CH-53E crashed in a remote region 60 kilometers south of Bagram in Northern Afghanistan. He was assigned to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361 (HMH-361), the "Flying Tigers" of Marine Aircraft Group 16, Combined Task Force 58, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Corps Air Station, Miramar, California. Died on January 19, 2002.

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"I met and knew Trae in Boot Camp, as a member of Platoon 2100 at Paris Island SC. I knew him a recruit Cohee, or just Cohee. He was the absolute funniest guy in the barracks. I can remember his face and smile vividly.

He is the first Marine I knew personally that gave his life for our Nation’s will. On this Memorial Day, he is the one I think of first and foremost.

Mr. and Mrs. Cohee, we only met one time, and our Boot Camp graduation. Thank you for raising such a great young man, and always know he is never forgotten.


Todd Moore, SSgt USMC Ret."
Todd Moore of Winchester, CA USA

"I recently visited a 9/11 memorial that honored all our nations fallen soldiers since the attacks. Each hero was honored with a flag and dog tags. I came across Walter's among the thousands of flags. I researched a little online and came across this website. I would like Walter and his family to know that although I am just a stranger in St. Louis, I am humbled by and grateful for his service. Thank you."
Lindsay Schuessler of St. Louis, MO

"Not a day goes by where I do not think of how awesome a man you are and how awesome a Marine you are. I use this as a present tense as you are not gone, but shelter all of us and your family still in your love and protection. We first met in Florida, and I was present for your promotion to SSGT. Always motivated, always smiling; always a loyal friend and brother.

"It's been 13 years & we miss you more today then when you joined the Marine Corps. We miss your laugh, your pranks, your singing at the top of your lungs.... "Rock On" my friend!"
Jamie Cugler of Mardela Springs, MD

"Hey SSgt, still remember the day you would bring in all your cd's into the shop. If it was a wrap song you had it. The days we would hang out on the ships hanger chilling and listen to music. Your remembered and missed bud."
SSgt Morales, Juan of Long Beach, CA

"Soon it will be eleven years since we lost a colleague, a friend, a brother in arms. May we be better for knowing SSGT Cohee, and live a life that reflects that fact."
Dave Arnett CPL/USMC of Los Angeles, CA

"To the family of:Walter F. Cohee lll
I am so sorry for the loss of your love one. My heart cries out for you in your grief and you have my thoughts and prayers. He died a hero defending freedom. May you have the peace and understanding that only comes from God. Prayerfully we will all meet in Heaven one day where we will rest in the arms of Jesus. If you need prayer or need someone to talk to, please call or write my pastor: Rev. John Pearrell 11677 Brown Bridge Rd., Covington, GA 30016. (770)787-1015.
Your friend in Jesus Christ, Polly Ballew Covington,Ga""

"I met SSgt Cohee on the 15th MEU deployment in 2001-2002 on the USS Peleliu. I was in the avionics shop with him (AV8B Harriers). I've never forgotten his name or what a great guy he was. I'm sure his memory lives on in the hearts of many other Marines who crossed his path."
Dan Edinger of Troy, Michigan

"”Honor and Remember” - “Project Compassion” We love our Soldiers! We love our country and we cannot express enough love and compassion to the families of our fallen heroes. War does not discriminate – It breaks our hearts to see the faces of the fallen. We want to give this gift to the hero’s Mother, Father and/or spouse. We are a 501c3 nonprofit organization! Almost 2,100 portraits have been completed and shipped to the parents and or spouse - at no cost as this is a gift from one American to another!
This is a gift! We have wonderful sponsors who help with the costs, and want you know that everyone here at Project Compassion does and will always CARE.
Contact us directly at Projectcompassion@manti.com or go to www.heropaintings.com . If you have already had a portrait completed, we pray that you are enjoying the portrait and God Bless You.
Sincerely and Respectfully,
Project Compassion - Kenna of Manti, Utah USA

"Trae, It was an honor to have you call me "doc" for the three and half years I served with you in 361. Even though you always teased me, you made me laugh while doing it so I could never get mad at you. You will never be forgotten and I will miss you."
former HM2 Roseann "Doc" Hernandez of San Jose, CA

"Trae pushed me hard through Boot Camp. He was always there motivating me along the way. Trae helped me gain that "can do' attitude. Thank you much Brother. As all of you do I miss him dearly. God Bless."
Paul Lillard (Former Sgt) of Thomasville Georgia.

"SSgt Cohee was a great Marine who I remember fondly. I also remember him as a great guy. I am Glad I know him and Served with him! The world is a less of a place with out him. He will be missed and there isn't a day I do not think about his commitment to Fellow Marines, and Country. Thank you Trea, and you will never be forgotten.."
former Cpl Hitzemann, (hitler) of St. Louis, MO

"Though gone, you are not forgotten. You were the only Marine in our shop that ever told me I was worth anything--to SSgt Brown no less--and I'll never forget. Semper Fi."
Craig Smith of Elkhart, IN

"I still have the dress-charlie shirts you gave me when you got promoted to SSgt. I was a Cpl at the time, and since then I have gotten out, but they are one of the few things I have that I refuse to get rid of. Your name is still stamped on the collar and it will always serve as a reminder to me that life is short we should all live it to the fullest. You were an inspiration and it was an honor to serve with you."
former Sgt. Bryan Martin, 361 Avionics of Raeford, NC

"It was an honor to serve with you "Leatha". I never thought a Motor T-Marine could transform into an outstanding Avionics Man. Thank you for all the great memories and sharing your wisdom. I will truly miss you."
Former Sgt. Alexander Gudino of Anaheim Hills, CA

"Mr. Cohee,
As I get ready to retire, I think back on my career and I remember your Son fondly. He was a great Marine, smart individual, and had a fantastic sense of humor. I miss him dearly and thank you and Mrs. Cohee for giving us the honor of his friendship. My heartfelt condolences, still, for your loss. I learned more from him than I could ever teach. Semper Fi."
LtCol Matt "Chubber" Paul of Fredericksburg, VA

"I sit watching 7th Heaven on September 24, 2008, and the wonderful memorial service that the show gave the fallen heroes of that crash. Its been the second time I have seen the show honoring these wonderful men and it still brings tears to our eyes. It is hard to believe its been six years. We will always remember him and his bravery.
God Bless"
Tom & Monica Cohee of Newville, PA

"Trey, You will not be forgotten. I served with you in Camp Rhino/Kandahar.
Esquivel-Sgt USMC 96-02 AVI"
Gabriel Esquivel of TEXAS

"SSgt "Trae" Cohee, you are the reason I am here today, serving with MAG-16 in AL Asad Iraq. Growing up across the street from your parents, made me feel like extended family. You were a huge inspiration to me! Even though you may now be gaurding Heaven's streets, your influence on me and the Corps still stand strong here. This Memorial Day, I remember you, and your sacrifice, so that I can stand tall and proud, as an American."
Cpl Ian David Insley of Al Asad Airbase, Iraq

Brent of Oregon

"SSgt Cohee...well, you were the first one to let me do a job by myself with no supervision. Its strange because now I'm the one in your shoes. I'm a flyer, I'm a flightliner on top of an avionics tech, and I'm a QA. I wish that there were more people like you. The memorial service was packed and I had to escort your family around. They are great people and I knew after meeting them where you got it from. Always watch over us in the skies and on the ground. Semper Fidelis!!!"
Sgt Stephen Humphries of San Diego, California/MCAS Miramar HMH-466 (former HMH-361 Marine)

"I was blessed to have know Trae for the years that I did. He was my husband's cousin, but in reality they were as close as brothers. My two boys were lucky enough to have spent time with him. I only wish that my daughter, Rhyan would have gotten to meet him. Trae was an extraordinary person and is deeply missed. Thank you for all that you brought to our family's lives. We Love you,
The Powell Family"
Kristy of Fredericksburg, Va

"May 4, 2007
To the family of Walter F. Cohee, III. He gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our fallen heroes be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you. "Some gave all."
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"I was wasn't lucky enough to serve with this man, this Marine. Every day when I thought things couldn't get any worse, that I had no one there that cared, I looked at the bird that was dedicated to this FINE Marine. And was grounded every time. You have the ulitimate sacrifice Marine, and it's powerful the impression your legacy has left, on myself and anyone else that will hear your story. I have never met you... And will never forget you. Semper Fi."
Sgt Logan Thompson of Kailua HI/USA

"I knew SSGT Cohee for a short time. We met in Camp Rhino, Afghnistan. Four CH53's from his squadron joined us for OEF. Everyday I would trade Cohee my MRE coffee for his MRE hot chocolate. I will always remember his mild mannerness. I never forgot him and still make sure other will not either.
Semper Fi"
Jim "Skeet" Johnston of Massachusetts

"Cohee, one of the funniest guys I ever met. It was an honor to be your friend and fellow Devil Dog. Life on ship wouldn't have been the same without you. I will think of you everytime I hear the song "BrickHouse". Rest in piece buddy."
Adam Barbour of Boston, MA

"Trey, you will never be forgotten. thank you for your teachings and thank you for service and dedication.
Sgt Schielein"
Sgt Brock Schielein

The brother I took care of in Kuwait the year before during Eager Mace exercise '01. You hated needles but trusted me to place an IV line in your arm to give you some fliuds back from working those 16 hour shifts in the hot dry flight line of Ali Al Salem. Not a day goes by that I don't think of you when I scratch my back with the back scratcher I bought with you in San Francisco during Fleet Week '00, just days before the USS Cole. It dosent get any easier losing, MARINES. Heaven Marine Division HEVMARDIV has some outstanding MARINES in the ranks. You are one of the finest SNCO's there. I still remember the week before that day when the QA line at HMM-268 was putting together a care package for you, I dropped in a short note about IV's or something. Then the word came like a round to the chest. SSGT's Cohee and Morgan were killed in Afganastan. Kubs and I were in complete dismay, I walked out of work and went to see the guys in QA. There it was business as usual, but the mood was somber and told the story that WE CARRY on to keep Marines flying and do the job. They were hurt too. The Memorial service was standing room only, and I stood and wept not for a fallen Marine, but my friend.

Semper Fi"
Frank "Doc V" Vagnoni of San Diego Ca

"I never knew Staff Sergeant Cohee or Staff Sergeant Morgan. I had just graduated Boot Camp in Parris Island when their helicopter crashed in those mountains in Afghanistan. I met many of their friends and comrades when I got to the fleet however, and I learned what good men and Marines they were. When they died, their names were added to the nose doors of the CH-53E's on detachment from the Evil Eyes MEU that was out there at the time and they have remained there ever since. One of those planes was given to me to crew in 2003 and I have proudly crewed that helicopter through two tours in Iraq. It has been my helicopter for over two years now and I have insured that it has been the pride of every squadron it, and I, have been attached to. I recently handed it over to another crew chief and I have made certain that he understands that it is not simply a helicopter, but a monument to their lives and service to our nation. Thank you Staff Sergeant Cohee and Staff Sergeant Morgan for your sacrifice and for keeping me safe in combat. I know you are watching over us as we continue our watch."
Sgt Timothy O'Connor HMH-462 Screw Crew of N. Weymouth, Massachusetts

I miss you greatly; there are times I will sit and just wonder what life would be like if I could of gotten to see you just one more time! I have very few memories of you! But the one that sticks out the most is the time at uncle jamie's when he invited us over for spagettii, it was a great time and I will never forget you!!"
Eden Hostetler of Sneads Ferry, NC

"Walter, I would like to say thank you to you and the other Marine who was on that '53 with you. And to your family, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

Semper Fi Devil Dog!"

You are a Marine of Marines. We spent a year as close friends in Okinawa. The friendship never died as we met again in 29 Palms. You are a bother, a bro, a godfather, and a dear friend. I finally got to meet the two people you talked most about, your parents. Walt and Jeanne miss you so. My Family and I miss you too. You will never be forgotten. Semper Fi. God's speed. Party on dude."
Don Eller of Oceanside CA

"Semper Fi SSgt. It was a pleasure serving with you at New River, you indeed set the example. God Bless you and your family."
Tim Spring of PA

"semper fidelis, devil dog
It was a honor to serve with you in the "G"(mssg-22). thank you"
Ron Casey of Xenia,Ohio

"Trea,you were one of the best friends I've had in my life. You will never be forgotten because of my memories and with the stories my son will hear about you. I am proud to have been your friend and fellow marine.I cannot imagine the pain your family is going through, but I hope they find comfort in knowing you are in a better place.Thank you for your honor,courage, and sacrifice."
Cole Lumpkin (USMC) of Gadsden, Alabama

Your presence still exits in fond memories we shared. I will never forget the day we met on the French Riveria, you on a Marine deployment and myself on vacation. Who knew the tie we had: you being stationed at Camp Lejeune, and me living in North Carolina would lead my life to a world of treasured memories that will last forever. Distance may separate one from another, but friendship lasts forever. You taught me so much not only while we were together, but are still teaching me to this day as you look down upon all of us. Thank you for everything. You will never be forgotten and you have affected many students in my class year to year. If there is one thing they will learn all year, it will be about a fallen soldier who meant the world to their teacher. I will always love you!"
Jill Craver of Clemmons, NC

"My dearest Trae, I wish that I could have spoken to you one more time. I got a last word from you right before you left overseas and that I will treasure forever. We only dated for a short time, and distance made it difficult, but I will always be glad that our friendship endured and we stayed in each others lives. I know you are still watching over all of us. I wish the best for your family and fiance. You always made me smile, and when I feel down I just think of one of your classic lines and that great smile of yours and I am happy again. Thank you for being there for me and for our country."
Tina of Sunnyvale, CA

"Trea, I worked with you with 361 and will never forget you. Your friend.
Marc Clemens of San Diego, California

"Semper Fi brother."
Travis Collins of NJ

"Thanks for stepping forward when America needed you. To the family - Thank you for your contribution to our liberty and freedom. I'm sorry for your tremendous loss."
Ronald Carlson of Montrose, MN

"SSgt Walter F. Cohee III gave his life in a courageous attempt to re-supply my platoon. I was among the marines on the ground waiting to help off-load that day. I am forever greatful to SSgt Cohee for his service and his sacrifice. I never had the honor of meeting SSgt Cohee, but I will always remember his name."
CPL Troy KrapF of Beaufort, South Carolina


"Sergeant Cohee, goodbye soldier and thank you. You are my hero."
Bill of Houston, Texas

"Semper Fi and RIP brother!"
Mike (USMC) of Indianapolis Indiana

"Thank you for all that you gave, which was all that you had. Only because of warriors like you, do we have anything. I thank you so very much for making my family safer."
The Estes Family of Phoenix, AZ

"Thank you Walter Cohee III, you will not be forgotten. Your bravery goes beyond words. I want to express my deepest gratitude for your sacrifice. To the family and friends, my prayers and deep condolences in your loss. May God strengthen you from knowing that fellow Americans and people around the world care about you and grieve with you in your loss. God bless you all. A very appreciative fellow American,"
Leo Titus of Grayslake, Illinios

"To the family and friends of Staff Sgt. Walter Cohee III:
May God's grace be with you during your time of grief. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and we feel your loss and share in your sorrow. Bless Walter for the sacrifice he has made to make a better life for the rest of us."
The Ford Family of Wells, Nevada

"To the family and friends of Staff Sgt. Walter Cohee III:
I am saddened by the loss of your loved one. He will always be remembered as a hero for fighting for freedom. I hope that this website will be a source of comfort and encouragement for you during this difficult time, and in the future as you recall the memories of Walter, who continues to live on in your heart."
Tim Rivera of Powder Springs, Georgia

Honor them by remembering... Freedom - is their gift to us But his soul goes marching on