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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 166-03
March 27, 2003

DOD IDENTIFIES MARINE CASUALTIES

The Department of Defense (DoD) announced today the identities of eight Marines whose status has been listed as Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown (DUSTWUN). They were engaged in operations on March 23 in the vicinity of the outskirts of An Nasiriyah in Iraq. They are:

Pfc. Tamario D. Burkett, 21, of Erie, N.Y.

Lance Cpl. Thomas A. Blair, 24, of Wagoner, Okla.

Cpl. Kemaphoom A. Chanawongse, 22, of Waterford, Conn.

Lance Cpl. Donald J. Cline, Jr., 21, of Washoe, Nev.

Pvt. Jonathan L. Gifford, 20, of Macon, Ill.

Pvt. Nolen R. Hutchings, 19, of Boiling Springs, S.C.

Lance Cpl. Patrick R. Nixon, 21, Davidson County, Tenn.

Lance Cpl. Michael J. Williams, 31, Yuma, Ariz.

Lance Cpl. Blair is assigned to the 2nd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion, Marine Air Control Group-28, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, Cherry Point, N.C. All other Marines listed above are assigned to the 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, Camp Lejeune, N.C. A search and rescue effort is ongoing.

The DoD announced today it has changed the status of Marine Cpl. Evan T. James from DUSTWUN to killed in action. Cpl. James was declared DUSTWUN in the vicinity of the Saddam Canal on March 24. His remains were recovered on March 25.