Navy SEAL Charles Humphrey Keating IV died in Iraq defending Americans under fire.
The Arizona native was part of a quick-reaction force sent in to rescue a U.S. adviser team that had been visiting a Kurdish Peshmerga fighting position in Teleskof, just north of Mosul. The Kurdish post came under attack by an ISIS force of more than a 100 fighters, plus car bombs, armored vehicles and even bulldozers, said coalition spokesman Col. Steve Warren, who spoke to reporters from Baghdad on Wednesday.
Keating, 31, was part of team that rushed to the scene to help the Americans fight their way out. After the SEAL was gravely injured, U.S. aircraft sent in to extract him were damaged by enemy gunfire—but able to get him to a nearby medical facility with the medical “golden hour” that helps increase survivability; his wounds from direct enemy fire were too severe to survive, Warren said.
According to his bio obtained by The Daily Beast, Navy Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Keating enlisted in 2007 and spent his career with SEAL teams based out of California. He was an expert marksman who earned multiple awards for combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, including the Bronze Star with Combat V, Navy, and Army achievement medals.
The Arizona Republic reported Keating was an accomplished distance runner at Arcadia High School, and grandson of the infamous savings-and-loan financier of the same name. The paper said Keating was known as “C-4” because he had the same name as three generations before him, and that he was the cousin of Olympic swimming champion Gary Hall Jr.