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US Military Identifies All 6 Marines Declared Dead in Midair Crash
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US Military Identifies All 6 Marines Declared Dead in Midair Crash

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OKINAWA, JAPAN – December 14, 2018

The five U.S. Marines declared deceased after being involved in a December 6 F/A-18 and KC-130 mishap off the coast of Kochi, Japan have been identified, according to a III Marine Expeditionary Force's Facebook post.

The deceased are: Lt. Col. Kevin R. Herrmann, 38, of New Bern, North Carolina; Maj. James M. Brophy, 36, of Staatsburg, New York; Staff Sgt. Maximo A. Flores, 27, of Surprise, Arizona; Cpl. Daniel E. Baker, 21, of Tremont, Illinois; and Cpl. William C. Ross, 21, of Hendersonville, Tennessee.

The deceased were assigned to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152 (VMGR-152).

"It is with heavy hearts that we announce the names of our fallen Marines," said U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Mitchell T. Maury, commanding officer of Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152 (VMGR-152). "They were exceptional aviators, Marines, and friends whom will be eternally missed. Our thoughts and prayers remain with their families and loved ones at this extremely difficult time."

KC-130 Hercules and F/A-18 Hornet were involved in a mishap about 200 miles off of the coast of Japan around 2:00 a.m. Dec. 6. The aircraft involved in the mishap, a KC-130 and an F/A-18, had launched from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni and were conducting regularly scheduled training when the accident occurred, III Marine Expeditionary Force said.

Two crew members in the fighter jet were recovered after the accident, but one died. On Dec. 7, the Marine Corps identified Captain Jahmar F. Resilard, 28, as the Marine who was pronounced deceased after he was found during search and rescue operations off the coast of Kochi, Japan on Dec. 6. Resilard, served as an F/A-18 pilot with Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242 (VMFA(AW)-242), stationed on Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in Yamaguchi, Japan. It is not confirmed that aerial refueling was ongoing when the mishap occurred.

The search covered more than 35,000 square nautical miles and involved approximately 900 hours of searching by Japanese, Australian, and U.S. aircraft, ships, and other assets.

The KC-130J flight data and cockpit voice recorders have not been located at this time, making it premature to speculate about wreckage recovery, according to Lt. Gen Eric M. Smith, Commanding General, III MEF.

This is the most tragic incident in a series of recent accidents involving U.S. military forces deployed in and near Japan in the last three months.

Last month, a U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet from the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan crashed into the sea southwest of Japan's southern island of Okinawa, though its two pilots were rescued, USA Really reported. In mid-October, a MH-60 Seahawk also belonging to the Ronald Reagan crashed off the Philippine Sea shortly after takeoff, causing non-fatal injuries to a dozen sailors.

The deadliest Marine Corps disaster involving Lockheed KC-130T Hercules aircraft of the United States Marine Corps (USMC) occurred on July 10, 2017, in Leflore County, Mississippi, killing all 16 people on board.

Author: USA Really