You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Kettering pilot was near end of final tour


Before his fourth tour of military duty, James Groves III toured Arlington National Cemetery while in Washington, D.C., last fall to run the Marine Corps Marathon.

The U.S. Army chief warrant officer told his wife, Katie, that was where he wanted to be buried if he died in military service.

The 37-year-old Kettering Fairmont High School graduate was killed Saturday when the helicopter he was piloting crashed near Kandahar, Afghanistan. Mechanical failure is suspected. The other soldier who was aboard survived.

Groves, who enlisted following commencement in June 1994, was nearing the end of his second tour in Afghanistan, following two in Iraq.

“He expected this to be the shortest by far. He left in December and was going to be home by September,” said his mother, Leslie Groves, of Kettering, who “knew immediately what had happened” when a chaplain and a uniformed Army officer came to the door of the family home on Olson Drive last weekend.

“He and Katie were going to celebrate their 15th wedding anniversary. James was very close to his 19th anniversary in the military. He was going to retire after 20 years,” Leslie Groves said.

Katie Groves was at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware Monday afternoon along with the couple’s sons, James IV, 12, and Shane, 9, when her husband’s body was transported from overseas.

A spokesman at Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield near Savannah, where Groves had been stationed, said the incident remains under investigation.

A helicopter crash March 11 in Afghanistan killed five soldiers who were also assigned to the same base. The Army Times reported they were on a routine training mission using night-vision goggles. It was the highest one-day toll for U.S. troops this year in Afghanistan.

Another Dayton area soldier, Ohio National Guard Spec. Cody D. Suggs, 22, of West Alexandria died March 8 in a non-combat incident at Kandahar Airfield.

James, who has an older sister, Jeannette, was born in Columbus on Nov. 7, 1975. The family moved to Kettering in 1978.

He played baseball while growing up in Kettering and football for Fairmont High School. He attended Rosewood Elementary School, now the city’s arts center, for kindergarten and then went to Indian Riffle Elementary School.

At Fairmont, one of his assignments for the student television station was to interview military recruiters.

“He talked to recruiters at all four branches and decided that the Army offered the best deal,” his mother said. “He grew up around it. Both of his grandfathers were in the Army during World War II. His father was in the Army Reserve when we were first married.”

He was stationed in Colorado when he met Katie. “They were both runners and loved going on cruises. Katie took him on a cruise for his birthday last November. He was home for Thanksgiving. He left in December. That was the last time we saw him.”

Groves, who attended officer training school and was an instructor pilot, was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd infantry Division at Hunter Airfield. His resume included included military intelligence and air assault.

“James didn’t say much about what it was like in Afghanistan. He did talk about Iraq. He said the U.S. presence there was necessary and that we were doing some good. When one of his buddies there died, he accompanied the body home for the

Leslie Groves said the commander of the base in Afghanistan told Katie there was no enemy action in the area at the time of the crash. “They were looking at a mechanical malfunction as the cause. Pilot error was not a consideration.”

The body was flown to Dover following a memorial service at Kandahar. A service at Hunter was also planned.

“He will be buried at Arlington per his request. Katie is seeing to that,” Leslie Groves said.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in News

Video shows woman kidnapped as infant in Florida joking about getting kidnapped
Video shows woman kidnapped as infant in Florida joking about getting kidnapped

A Facebook live video shows the young woman who was snatched from a Jacksonville hospital as an infant joking about getting kidnapped. In the July 2016 video, she does not hint that she knew she really was a kidnapping victim. Gloria Williams is still in a South Carolina jail cell, accused of kidnapping Kamiyah Mobley as a baby in 1998 and...
Security experts warn about possible violence at inauguration
Security experts warn about possible violence at inauguration

As the nation's security agencies gear up for President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration on Friday, some experts in the field are warning of the potential for volatility. >> Read more trending stories  "Unlike previous inaugurations in presidential history, this is predicted to be the most volatile," said Ross Bulla, a security...
President Obama welcomes Chicago Cubs to White House
President Obama welcomes Chicago Cubs to White House

For the last time in his tenure as president, Barack Obama welcomed a championship team to the White House. This time it had a special meaning to the outgoing commander-in-chief, as he spent much of his life in Chicago (though he is a White Sox fan). When Obama took to the microphone to address the Cubs fans and legions of reporters, his first words...
Dr. Bernice King: ‘My father would meet with Trump’
Dr. Bernice King: ‘My father would meet with Trump’

As a war of words plays out between President-elect Donald Trump and Georgia congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis, one is left to wonder what MLK Jr. would have done in the wake of the 2016 election. >> Read more trending stories  Two days before her famous father's birthday, the daughter of the civil rights icon answered that question...
Dems call for county commissioner in Georgia to resign after John Lewis comments
Dems call for county commissioner in Georgia to resign after John Lewis comments

Gwinnett County Commissioner Tommy Hunter waded into controversial territory over the weekend when he wrote a Facebook post calling U.S. Rep. John Lewis -- a civil rights legend already locked in a war of words with President-elect Donald Trump -- a “racist pig.” The reaction to Hunter, a Republican, taking on Lewis a few days before...
More Stories