The Marine Corps has identified the 16 service members who died last week when a KC-130 plane crashed after a mishap, seemingly disintegrating mid-air and crashing in a soybean field in Mississippi.
The deceased service members are:
From Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 452 out of Newburgh, New York:
- Major Caine M. Goyette
- Captain Sean E. Elliott
- Gunnery Sergeant Mark A. Hopkins
- Gunnery Sergeant Brendan C. Johnson
- Staff Sergeant Joshua M. Snowden
- Sergeant Owen J. Lennon
- Sergeant Julian M. Kevianne
- Corporal Daniel L. Baldassare
- Corporal Collin J. Schaaff
From 2nd Marine Raider Battalion in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina:
- Staff Sergeant William J. Kundrat
- Staff Sergeant Robert H. Cox
- Sergeant Talon R. Leach
- Sergeant Chad E. Jenson
- Sergeant Joseph J. Murray
- Sergeant Dietrich A. Schmieman
- Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Ryan Lohrey
You can read more about the service members here, and their photos can be seen here.
“On behalf of the Marine Corps Reserve, I extend my deepest sympathies to the loved ones of those who perished,” said Lt. Gen. Rex McMillian, Commander of the Marines Forces Reserve and Commander of the Marine Forces North; according to a press release. “The Marines and Sailor involved in this incident were among our finest. They dedicated their lives to our core values of Honor, Courage and Commitment. They will never be forgotten.”
Six Marines and one Navy sailor from Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC) were among the 16 deceased service members.
The refueling plane crashed on July 10 in a soybean field in LeFlore County after originating from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, according to the U.S. Marine Corps, which was contacted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) when the plane “disappeared from air control radar over Mississippi.”
A local news station said debris was found “on either side of the highway, indicating a possible mid-air explosion,” according to NBC.
The New York Times reported that witnesses said the plane “disintegrated in the air,” and it was estimated that the debris extended about three miles in diameter.
Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller tweeted last week to “[please] keep the families of our 16 fallen service members in your thoughts and prayers.”
“On behalf of the entire Marine Corps, I want to express my deepest condolences to the families of those killed in the aircraft mishap […],” he said.
The FBI is investigating the incident.