|Birth: ||Jun. 1, 1982|
|Death: ||Feb. 17, 2006, Djibouti|
Sgt. Jonathan "Eric" McColley, U.S.M.C., of Gettysburg, entered into God's Heavenly Kingdom February 17 as the result of a helicopter crash off the Gulf of Aden, near the northern coastal town of Ras Siyyan in Djibouti, while serving his country.
He was the son of John E. and Susan (Banks) McColley.
Eric had just completed his first five-year stint with the military and was less than two months away from being rotated out of Africa. He was a squad member, first as a grounds crewmember then on the flight team. He had been in Djibouti since October and was on a six-month deployment.
He was attached to Marine Helicopter Squadron 464 based out of Marine Corps air station New River, NC. The helicopter squadron was deployed to Djibouti as part of the combined Joint Task Force participating in counter terrorism missions throughout Northern Africa.
Eric's scout career began with Tiger Cubs and culminated when awarded the rank of Eagle Scout, Troop 73, Gettysburg Presbyterian Church. He was involved with little league baseball, AYSO Soccer, rock climbing, and swimming.
He worked at the Gettysburg YWCA and the Gettysburg Country Club as a lifeguard. During this period Eric taught many of the area's youth to swim. He was also active in the local Red Cross teaching CPR.
Eric attended Eisenhower Elementary School and graduated from Gettysburg High School in 2000. While at GHS he was a member of the Outdoor Club and the Varsity Swim Team for four years. In the fall of 1999 he enlisted in the Marine Corps and graduated from Marine Basic Training at Parris Island, SC, in November 2000.
During his service Eric was stationed at Miramar California with 101st Fighter Squadron, Okinawa, HMM 263 (Japan MACs 36), and New River, N.C. with HMH 464, 461, and 263. It was while attached to the HMH 263 and the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit that Eric served operation Iraqi Freedom II. In the summer of 2005 he volunteered for duty in Djibouti. His desire was to earn his flight wings before leaving the Air Wing and had his wings "pinned" just weeks before his death.
Surviving, in addition to his parents, are one sister, Cheryl Newbanks of Hampton, VA; one nephew, Etahn Newbanks; paternal grandparents, CE and Marion McColley of Deland, FL; maternal grandfather, Russell Bands of Stittsville, Ont., Canada; five aunts; three uncles; and eight cousins in the US and Canada.
He was preceded in death by his maternal grandmother, Ada Banks.
Quantico National Cemetery
Prince William County
Plot: SECTION 10 GRAVE 244
Created by: Just another taphophile
Record added: Feb 21, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 13405315