Fallen Heroes of Kilo

Heros Don't Come Home_RIP_KILO

 On July 24, 2007 my son-in-law, SGT. Samuel Nichols, was severely wounded by in IED (improvised explosive device) while escorting a convoy in the Dilyala province of Iraq.  During this attack, four of his Marine Corp buddies were killed.  Sam is still in pretty bad shape so I’m sure he isn’t even aware of the deaths of his brothers—but I know one day, he will mourn their passing. This page is dedicated to the memory of the fallen hero’s of Kilo Battery 3/12.

Corporal James H. McRae
Corporal Matthew R. Zindars
Lance Corporal Robert A Lynch
Hospitalman (FMF) Daniel S. Noble

The following was taken from the blog of a military officer who attended their memorial service in Ramadi:

The Armed Forces Memorial ritual has become all too familiar to me. The National Anthem, the Invocation, comments by a Battalion or Task Force Commander; the Company or Battery Commander; the Platoon Leader; comments by their platoon mates; a final roll call, taps, and the rendering of honors.There were numerous General Officers at this Memorial, including the top dog in Iraq. I sat at the right rear of the hall and was able to see all of the them as they left. A look into their faces as they walked by me told me they all felt what we all feel at one of these. The sadness and the ache for our fellow service members and those families back home.I looked at the pictures of these young Marines and this Sailor, who all looked so young, and with the nautical services penchant for not changing its uniforms, timeless, and reflected on the expressions of the General Officers. The pain for my fellow service members was lifted because I knew then the leadership here “gets it.”

There was also at least one Iraqi general as well as some Iraqi colonels at the service. I was moved as they lay his hand on each helmet and rendered the hand salute.

Rest easy now Marines and Doc – your sacrifice will not be forgotten.


Corporal James Heath McRae, USMC:
On July 24, 2007 CPL James Heath McRae, 22, was killed by an insurgent IED attack.  He was driving the fourth vehicle in a convoy through the Diyala province of Iraq.

CPL. James Heath McRae, 22 is from Springtown in North Texas.  He left college and joined the Marines because he felt a calling to serve his country.  His mother said he felt he needed to repay his debt to his country by joining the military.

James was born July 6th, 1985 in Springtown Texas.  He learned how to fix fences, work cattle and how to repair boats and car engines from his father.  He loved to go fishing in the gulf of Mexico and on the stocked ponds of the family ranch.

James wasn’t just a country boy, he also loved music.  He played trombone and guitar and was good enough to earn a music scholarship to Weatherford College which he attended for one year.

James’ sister Amy said “my brother was and is a hero, along with the other marines, those who are here and those who are gone.  They will forever be in our hearts”.

Daniel Noble_May You Rest In Peace

HN Daniel S. Noble, United States Navy Corpsman:  On July 24, 2007 HM Daniel (Doc) Noble was killed by an insurgent IED attack.  Doc Noble was the drivers side passenger in the 4th vehicle of a 43 vehicle convoy passing through the Diyala province of Iraq. 

Doc Noble, 21 of Whittier California,  is in the Navy but assigned as one of several corpsman to Kilo Battery.  There is a very special bond between the Navy corpsman and the marines.  The corpsman is responsible for quickly assessing a marine’s injuries, stabilizing them and preparing them for transport.  Many times their job is performed while under fire from the enemy. 

A couple of days prior to  Doc Noble’s death his convoy was escorting busses full of Iraqi soldiers.  The bus behind them was hit by an IED killing several Iraqi soldiers.  Doc Noble pulled several of the Iraqi soldiers to safety as he was being fired upon by insurgents.  Kilo battery came together quickly and took out the insurgents before they could cause any more harm.  Just another day of saving lives and protecting their brothers (even Iraqi brothers).

Daniel joined the Navy on October 4, 2005 following in the footsteps of his grandfather and godfather.  His uncle Kelly Thomas said his nephew had the wisdom of someone twice his age and said Daniel wasn’t concerned about joining the Navy at the height of the Iraq War.  “He just thought about helping people, “Thomas said.  “He had a true spirit of giving”.

Daniel was originally hoping to join the Seabees, but broke a hand just before he was scheduled to start basic training.  After recuperating, there were no Seabee openings so he made a quick decision to become a corpsman which he loved. 

LCPL John P. of Kilo Battery wrote of Doc Noble after his passing:

” I am very proud to have served by his side he was a great man and friend one that would do anything for anyone to make them feel better. We the warriors of first platoon Kilo 3/12 miss you greatly but know that your in god’s kingdom now and wouldn’t want it any other way…you truly were a devil doc.  R.I.P. bro, I know I will see you again some day.”


Corporal Matthew Zindars, USMC: On July 24, 2007 CPL. Matthew Zindars was killed by an insurgent IED attack.  Cpl. Zindars was the gunner in the 4th vehicle of a 43 vehicle convoy.  The driver (Cpl Heath McRae) and driver’s side passenger (Doc Daniel Noble) were also killed.  The convoy was passing through the Diyala province of Iraq.

Cpl. Matthew Zindars, 21 is from the southern Wisconsin city of Watertown.  Matthew graduated from Watertown High School in 2004.  He joined the Marines at age 18 while he was still in school.

An outdoor-loving former football player, Cpl. Zindars liked snowboarding, rock climbing and hunting.  He also loved weight-lifting in his spare time.

His father Ken Zindars said his son was “the salt of the earth”.  “He was a great kid and never gave us any trouble”.  He said his son always wanted to be in the military and was “pretty proud to be a Marine.”

Matthew volunteered for a second tour in Iraq because all his Marine buddies were going back and he wanted to be there for them.

“Matthew said if they were going back, he was going to go with them,” his father said.  “They think of each other as brothers,” he said. “They eat together, sleep together and protect each other.  “They were very tight.”

“Zindars or Z…that’s what everyone here knew him as.  The type of guy who is everyone’s friend, got along with everyone.  Supported all of his comrades no matter what…damn good Marine above all.  He paid the ultimate sacrifice as did his family, friends, and comrades.  May his sacrifice resonate in every American’s heart and remind all of us that freedom is never free.  Semper Fi Devildog!!”

Stephens (Camp Pendelton, CA)


Lance Cpl. Robert A. Lynch, USMC:  Lance Cpl. Robert A. Lynch, USMC, 20, is from Louisville Kentucky.  He died on July 24 while performing convoy duty in the Diyala province of Iraq.

Robert graduated from Seneca High School in 2005 and school officials spoke highly of him.  “He was a hero for us,” Michael McWilliams, a counselor at Seneca, told The (Louisville) Courier-Journal.  He did a lot of things for us and a lot for our ROTC program.

“He’d tell me all the time, ‘Mom, I’m going over there to fight for you,,’ ” his mother, Angela Robinson, told WLKY-TV.

Lynch’s brother, Michael, also fought in Iraq.  “I would be honored to go the same way my brother went,”  Michael Lynch said.  “I’m so proud of him.”

“Robbie was a little bit of a jokester. He put a smile on your face, but when it came time to get something done, he was the first to jump in and stand shoulder to shoulder with you,” said retired Marine Col. Richard Maloney, who taught Lynch in ROTC courses at the school.

Mike Smith, pastor at Eastside Praise Ministry Center, said he baptized Lynch about a year and a half ago.  “He was so charming and kind,” Smith said. “There was a side of him that truly believed in what he was doing. He was convinced his life in this capacity was really going to make a difference.”

Gov. Ernie Fletcher has ordered that flags at all state office buildings be lowered to half-staff until sunset on the day of Lynch’s funeral. Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson issued a similar order through July 30.

“My Brother was the biggest Hero this REAL world has seen. He wanted to fight for our freedom, he asked to go on the mission he was on when he died. My bro always did what he had to do no matter the danger. I just want to tell everyone that the word ‘HERO’ is not used enough for the ones that don’t come home.”

He was our HERO on earth Now He’s God’s Hero.
Randall C. Lynch (brother)

Military City.COM
Iraq-nam http://iraqnam.blogspot.com/2007/07/robert-lynch-dies-while-conducting.html
The Courier-Journal.com (Louisville, Kentucky) http://www.courier-journal.com
Wave3.com http://www.wave3.com/Global/story.asp?S=6846603&nav=0RZF
Brotherhood in Arms http://www.brotherhoodinarms.org/casualties/lance-cpl-robert-a-lynch/
MilitaryTimes – http://www.militarycity.com/valor/2926918.html
JSOnline Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=638593
Mindfully.org – http://www.mindfully.org/Reform/2007/Iraq-US-Deaths29jul07.htm
Legacy.com – http://www.legacy.com/JSOnline/GB/GuestbookView.aspx?PersonId=91523835&PageNo=2
Spread the Word:  Iraq-Nam – http://iraqnam.blogspot.com/2007/07/matt-zindars-remembered.html
MilitaryTimes – http://www.militarycity.com/valor/2926918.html
JSOnline Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=638593
Mindfully.org – http://www.mindfully.org/Reform/2007/Iraq-US-Deaths29jul07.htm
Legacy.com – http://www.legacy.com/JSOnline/GB/GuestbookView.aspx?PersonId=91523835&PageNo=2
Spread the Word:  Iraq-Nam – http://iraqnam.blogspot.com/2007/07/matt-zindars-remembered.html

Graphics Acknowledgements:
The picture collage from this post is courtesy of Michelle at Chelle’s Designs. Used with permission. Michelle can be contacted at: 


21 Responses to Fallen Heroes of Kilo

  1. Erin Nichols says:

    Your brothers are home safe with their families. Now you can rest.

  2. SPC Gomez, Andres says:


  3. HM2 "Doc" Nyberg says:

    I am in complete shock as I learn of these marines and corpsman. I was in Kilo 3/12 1st plt in OIF II Iraq. I have memories of some I see in the pictures on this page and again, it really hits hard to learn of this. Just like Doc Noble, I to am from Whittier, and am working as a Police Officer here. If any one has any information or needs anything feel free to contact me.
    Semper Fi,
    Doc Nyberg

  4. Geoff says:

    God bless all of you folks – the soliders, their comrades and loved ones, and the ones who never came home. You’re all in my prayers daily.

    82nd Airborne Div

  5. Blake Smith says:

    God Bless the marines. i Was a section chief in Kilo Battery. I left the battery before the marines made it to kilo. my prayers ar with all the families that have to suffer the lose of a son, brother, husband. to me even though i never met these fine young marines they are brothers of Kilo 3/12. This battery lies within the dephts of my heart. So for the families i say thank you for your support for you marines cause!!!!!!!

    Sgt. Nicholas B. Smith Kilo 3/12, 2002-06

    • numodia lee says:

      I really enjoy the troops action for world peace . And to go into such anew dramatic start or should i say beginng of the nation , you’ll all have my love and honor from the Black Methodist Church . Rite hear in Califorina . You guys give it all you got!! Love always nunu.

  6. I knew LCpl Lynch. I went to MOS school with him and i lived right down the hall from him for two months. He was in my class and i remember many days when me and him would joke around during our time to hang out and relax. He was one of the funniest and happiest guys i ever met in my life. I didnt find out what happend until six months after it happend. One of my other buddies from MOS school messaged me telling me what happend. I was in shock and i think about LCpl Lynch all the time. I remember Lynch had this red bow tie and when we would come home from training he would put it on with his camis and knock on my door and when i would answer it he would say “DID SOMEBODY ORDER A PIZZA…A PIZZA…A PIZZA.” in a funny voice with a funny dance…lol…he was a great guy to be around and he thought more about others than himself. I respect him so much i plan on getting a tattoo in his honor on my leg…for all my fallen brothers. The world is truely missing out now that he is gone..but he died for what he believes in and thats what makes him a hero.

  7. sorry if anyone wants to message me my email is fritzjeremiah43@yahoo.com…i have instant messenger and email so add me if you need someone to talk to…thank you.

  8. HM3 (FMF) Burwinkel, Tina says:

    I went to A school with HN Noble and he was one of the happiest guys I have ever met. He was just always smiling and never let anything really get to him. I was deployed (on vacation really) in Kuwait when I heard of his death which took place on my birthday. It has been over a year and a half now and I often come across other Docs that I have met along the way and none of them truely leave your heart. Today I was preparing a name tag for a new blackhawk bag as I wait to come back from Iraq. I was simply looking for some clip art when I came to this site and saw the date that SGT Nichols had his life turned upside down. That date is stuck in my head forever and not because I turned 21. Daniel and his Marines are in my thoughts and prayers forever. Heart felt wishes to their families and loved ones.

  9. chowchow22 says:

    Great group of young men.

  10. Thank you for your service to our country.

  11. The Kjenstad Family says:

    TRUE HEROES! Thinking of you and your families…you are all forever in our hearts and prayers. With Love and Gratitude. God Bless.

  12. Learning not to question God is harder for some of us than for others, but I haved learned, sometimes the hard way, that there really are NO accidents with God, for He is the King of the Universe, the Creator of the Universe, the Alpha and Omega, so just by His nature of who He is, nothing that ever happens can ever be by some chance or accident. We will probably always ask, “Why does God take some, and leave others?” While it is truly not our call, the fact still remains that He has a reason, and He is not required to share it with us until He is ready.

    My brother’s youngest son Randy was killed in a car wreck at age 19; he left behind a young wife, and a 6 week old son. Now, 25+ years later, his parents, my brother Ralph, and his wife Rita, were involved in a horrible wreck, that left them both broken up, and Rita lost her left hand. But they are healing, and will survive. We may ask, “Why do things happen this way?”
    I have read and quoted Romans 8:28 more times than I can recall, but the other day, something really jumped out at me, that actually startled me.
    And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are THE CALLED according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

    I never noticed the arrngement of the words; notice that is says THE CALLED. This only helps me to understand that for those of us who believe in Him, and His Word, that He has a very special purpose for any of us who are still here, living and breathing.

    We are still praying, in Jesus name, for Sam, Erin and all of you, including the families of those fallen. Please pray for the family of PFC Jacob Dennis, who was KIA in Afghanistan; I will be sounding Taps at his service this coming Saturday.

  13. Cpl Dustin Woodward says:

    I personally served in combat with all of these men. There is not a day that passes I do not think of the four we lost that day. I wish the best to Sam and Erin.

  14. Grammy Blick says:

    “CPL. James Heath McRae” – this one touched home. We are fifteen miles from Springtown. We shop there often and many children from there come to our church. Every Thursday night we meet at a home in Springtown to enjoy hands of 42 Dominoes with couples from our church. Our lives are a tapestry of intertwining threads and we never know when one will touch the other. Thank you for the remembrance of these heroes.



  16. Amy Styles says:

    It is so touching to look on this page and too see that these men are gone but not forgotten…and to see that they have touched so many others hearts. I am the sister of CPL James Heath McRae. Heath and these other men are forever in our hearts and I just love being able to read stories of other soldiers who served with him and share their memories…these stories and thoughts are what keep their memories alive. Thank you 🙂

  17. Anonymous says:

    I served with Sam in kilo btry in Iraq . He was such a kind dude, an awesome human being

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