Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Camp Pendleton sailor killed in Africa memorialized aboard ship

February 18, 2012 |  9:01 am


A memorial service was held Friday aboard a U.S. Navy ship in the Arabian Sea for a Camp Pendleton-based sailor killed by an apparent stray round Tuesday night during a live-fire and maneuver exercise in the African nation of Djibouti.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Kyler Estrada, 21, of Maricopa, Ariz., was a corpsman assigned to the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit. The Camp Pendleton-based unit is deployed on a training mission.

Seven hundred Marines and sailors filled the hangar bay of the amphibious assault ship Makin Island for the memorial. Estrada was extolled as "doc," a term of respect by Marines for corpsmen.

"Doc died in the company of his brothers -- brothers who trained and sweat with him, brothers who rushed to his side and would not give up on him after he fell," said Capt. Matthew McGirr, commanding officer of the Marine company to which Estrada was assigned.

A detail of seven Marines fired rifle volleys from the flight deck as a Navy bugler sounded taps.

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Marines from the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment fire salute for Petty Officer 3rd Class Kyler Estrada. Credit: Gunnery Sgt. Scott Dunn