The three U.S. Marines who went missing and are now considered deceased after an MV-22 Osprey mishap off the coast of Australia on August 5 have been identified.
The U.S. Marines are:
- 1st Lt. Benjamin Cross, 26, a V-22 from Bethel, Maine;
- Cpl. Nathaniel Ordway, 21, a V-22 Crew Chief from Wichita, Kansas; and,
- Pfc. Ruben Velasco, 19, a Field Artillery Fire Control Marine from West Covina, California.
Honor the Fallen
Marines lost in MV-22 mishap:
1st Lt. Benjamin Cross
Cpl. Nathaniel Ordway
Pfc. Ruben Velasco
Semper Fidelis, Marines. pic.twitter.com/42Z3zE2SX1
— U.S. Marines (@USMC) August 8, 2017
“The loss of every Marine is felt across our entire Marine Corps family. To the families of the brave Marines we lost – there is no way for us to understand what you are going through,” said Col. Tye R. Wallace, Commanding Officer, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. “What we do know is that your Marines left a lasting impression on the 31st MEU, the Marine Corps, and the world. They will live on forever in our thoughts and our hearts. You will always be a part of the Marine Corps family, and you will remain in our prayers.”
The Marines were training with the Australian Army when the incident took place.
The U.S. Marine Corps said 23 of the 26 personnel on the aircraft were rescued, and there was initially a search-and-rescue effort for the three missing Marines following the incident, which was conducted by the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group.
“The aircraft involved in the mishap had launched from the USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) and was conducting regularly scheduled operations when the aircraft entered the water,” the Marine Corps said in a statement.
No additional details of the accident have been made available.