Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Helicopter Attack Killed Soldier from Godfrey

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Helicopter Attack Killed Soldier from Godfrey

Article excerpt

Mike Robinson, 23, of Godfrey, was among 26 people killed when American fighter jets mistakenly shot down two U.S. helicopters over Iraq, his mother said Saturday.

Robinson's mother, Judy Orrill of Godfrey, said military officials came to the family's home late Thursday. The government has yet to officially identify many of the victims, but "they told us he was definitely on the plane, and there were no survivors," she said.

Robinson was an Army helicopter mechanic stationed in Germany.

Meanwhile, U.S. and allied fighter jets resumed patrols over northern Iraq Saturday after a one-day halt following Thursday's accident, the Pentagon said.

The government by late Saturday had confirmed only two victims - a State Department employee and an Air Force lieutenant.

Robinson is among several people whose families have come forward saying officials had notified them that their relatives were on one of the helicopters and were presumed dead.

Robinson's sister, Candy Spencer of Alton, said he served during the Persian Gulf War in Saudi Arabia and had visited schools in Roxana and Godfrey to talk about his experiences.

"I never heard him ever say he wanted to be anything but an Army man and a good father," Spencer said.

Robinson enlisted in the Army as an Alton High School senior in 1988. Robinson's wife, Tangela, lived in Weisberg, Germany. He had 2-year-old stepson and a 3-year-old son from a previous marriage.

Robinson's mother said he was "very fun-loving, very outgoing and very, very well-liked. When he was home, the phone never stopped ringing, and we didn't see him much at night because his friends would always come by and take him out."

Military aircraft flew the bodies to Frankfurt, Germany, Friday for identification.

The U.S. European Command ordered the protective flights resumed on a reduced schedule over a "no fly" zone the allies set up in 1991 to protect Kurds in northern Iraq, the Defense Department said. …

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