Body of B.G. soldier set to arrive home

By Tom Vogt, Columbian science, military & history reporter

Published:

 

The body of a Battle Ground soldier killed in Afghanistan was scheduled to return home today.

Army Chief Warrant Officer Jonah D. McClellan died on Sept. 21 in a helicopter crash that claimed the lives of nine troops.

The airplane carrying McClellan’s body was scheduled to land late this morning at the Oregon Air National Guard base, adjacent to Portland International Airport.

Funeral services will be held Friday at the Old Apostolic Lutheran Church in Battle Ground, 32320 N.E. Lewisville Highway. He will be buried at Elim Cemetery in Brush Prairie.

McClellan was based at Fort Campbell in Kentucky as a member of the 101st Airborne Division.

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear is expected to issue an order Thursday to lower flags in the state to half-staff in McClellan’s honor.

The 26-year-old soldier was one of five members of the 101st killed in the crash of a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter in Qalat, Afghanistan. The cause of the crash is still under investigation, according to a Fort Campbell website.

McClellan’s awards and decorations include: Air Medal; Army Achievement Medal; Joint Meritorious Unit Award; Meritorious Unit Commendation; National Defense Service Medal; Afghanistan Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Korean Defense Service Medal; Army Service Ribbon; Overseas Service Ribbon; NATO Medal; Combat Action Badge and Army Aviator Badge.

McClellan is at least the 20th soldier, Marine or civilian contractor with Clark County ties who has been killed in Iraq, Afghanistan or Kuwait since 2003.