Army Chief Warrant Officer Patrick Dorff

Army Chief Warrant Officer Patrick Dorff

Died January 25, 2004 serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom

32, of Minnesota; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 10th Aviation (Fort Drum); attached to the 3rd Squadron, 17th Cavalry, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y; killed Jan. 25 when his Kiowa Warrior helicopter went down in the Tigris River during a search for four soldiers whose watercraft had capsized. Dorff was listed as duty status whereabouts unknown after the crash. His remains were recovered Jan. 29.
Friends, family honor Minnesota soldier who died in Iraq
Associated Press

ELK RIVER, Minn. — He gave his life trying to save a fellow soldier. So around 20 soldiers joined about 400 people Thursday for the funeral of Chief Warrant Officer Patrick D. Dorff. Dorff, 32, apparently drowned in Iraq on Jan. 25 after the helicopter he copiloted crashed into the Tigris River during a search for a soldier whose boat had capsized. A young soldier in the back row at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church clutched a tissue and wept. A serviceman sitting beside fought back tears. “I would like to acknowledge the military, all those who are around the world, defending the peace,” said Rev. Daniel Walz, who conducted the service. Some soldiers came from the Minnesota National Guard, while others came from Dorff’s unit, the 3rd Squadron, 17th Calvary, 10th Mountain Division, based at Fort Drum, N.Y. “Pat’s last effort on this earth was to try the save the life of a fellow soldier,” his sister, Leanne Rogers, told the mourners. “We will never forget our hero.” The tone of the service was alternately somber and light. A representative of the Minnesota National Guard presented the family with a Bronze Star and an Air Medal to honor Dorff, and Dorff’s brother and sister recalled growing up in Buffalo with their brother, a free-spirited youth with an uncontrollable laugh. Chris Dorff recalled his brother’s fascination with flight. He had airplane wallpaper in his bedroom and went to flight school in Minnesota before deciding to enlist and take flight training in the Army so he could fly helicopters, Chris said. Rogers said her brother was sent to Iraq to be a “sky cop,” doing air support for troops on the ground and in the air, but he always assured his family he was coming home. Dorff met his wife, Jamie, while he was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, and they had a daughter, Brisa, in 2000. At the conclusion of the funeral, Dorff’s casket was wheeled to the lobby, a white cloth removed, and an American flag unfolded by the soldiers and placed over it. On a table in the lobby was a booklet of messages, written by some school children.
“I am thankful for what Patrick has done for our country,” wrote one girl. “He risked his life just to help us, he was very brave. My family and I will keep you and your family in our prayers.” She drew two red hearts below her signature. A boy drew two peace signs and some stick figures of people holding hands. “Patrick we love you,” he wrote. “Hold hands with us, Patrick.”
Body of missing Minnesotan found in Iraq MINNEAPOLIS — The body of a Minnesota soldier missing in Iraq since a Jan. 25 helicopter crash has been found, his wife said. The body of Chief Warrant Officer Patrick D. Dorff, 32, was found Jan. 29, said Dorff’s wife, Yamira “Jamie” Dorff. Speaking from her in-laws’ home in Elk River, Yamira Dorff said military personnel gave her family the news the same day. Dorff was one of two men piloting a helicopter that crashed into the Tigris River in Mosul while searching for four soldiers whose boat had capsized, the Defense Department announced earlier this week. Dorff, a 1990 graduate of Buffalo High School, was the son of Roger and Sharon Dorff of Elk River. He and his wife have a 3-year-old daughter, Brisa. Yamira Dorff said a service for her husband would be held in Minnesota. “They’re flying him to (the United States) for an autopsy, and then they’ll bring him home to us,” she said.
Also aboard the helicopter was 1st Lt. Adam G. Mooney, 28, of Cambridge, Md. The two men were the crew on a OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter, attached to the 101st Airborne Division, based at Fort Campbell, Ky. The helicopter was searching for a soldier missing when the boat he was in capsized earlier Sunday while on patrol. The other three soldiers in the boat were safe, but two Iraqi police officers and an Iraqi translator were killed. Military divers searched the Tigris. Mosul is 225 miles northwest of Baghdad. — Associated Press

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