SEALs in Afghan Crash Died After Rescuing Comrades Elite fighters saved Army Rangers pinned down by fire By Mary Papenfuss, Newser User Posted Aug 8, 2011 1:40 AM CDT Updated Aug 8, 2011 7:51 AM CDT 10 comments Comments A Chinook helicopter similar to this one was shot down in Afghanistan Saturday, killing 30 US service members, almost all of them Navy SEALs returning from a rescue mission. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd, File) (Newser) – The Navy SEALs killed in the helicopter crash in Afghanistan were headed home from a rescue mission in which they flew to the aid of Army rangers who had come under a major Taliban assault, officials are revealing. The SEALs had "subdued attackers" who had pinned down the Rangers and were flying back on the Chinook when it was brought down by enemy fire, reports AP. Thirty US service members died, most of them SEALs. The elite fighters were part of the team that killed Osama bin Laden, though none of the dead men participated directly in that operation.