Marine Corps identify 5 KC-130J crew members killed in midair collision off the Japanese coast
The Marine Corps has identified the five Marines who died in a KC-130J Hercules crash off the coast of Japan on Dec. 6.
The fallen Marines were assigned to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152 (VMGR-152) and onboard a KC-130 refueling aircraft when a mishap occurred with a Marine F/A-18 Hornet.
“They were exceptional aviators, Marines, and friends whom will be eternally missed,” Lt. Col. Mitchell T. Maury, commanding officer of VMGR-152, said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers remain with their families and loved ones at this extremely difficult time.”
The Corps previously identified the deceased Hornet pilot as Capt. Jahmar Resilard; his copilot survived the incident.
- Lt. Col. Kevin R. Herrmann, 38, of New Bern, North Carolina. Hermann had served 16 years in the Corps and was posthumously promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel. He leaves behind a wife and three daughters.
- Maj. James M. Brophy, 36, of Staatsburg, New York. Brophy had been in the Corps for 12 years, and leaves behind a wife, son, and a daughter.
- Staff Sgt. Maximo A. Flores, 27, of Surprise, Arizona. Flores had been a Marine for nine years. He is survived by his wife.
- Cpl. Daniel E. Baker, 21, of Tremont, Illinois. Baker served for two years, and leaves behind his mother and father.
- Cpl. William C. Ross, 21, of Hendersonville, Tennessee. Ross served for two years, and leaves behind his mother and father.
Three of the deceased Marines were married and two had children.
A massive multi-day search and rescue operation undertaken by Japanese,
Commanding general of III Marine Expeditionary Force Lt. Gen. Eric Smith ended the rescue operation Tuesday and declared the missing KC-130J Marines as deceased.
“Every possible effort was made to recover our crew and I hope the families of these selfless Americans will find comfort in the incredible efforts made by US, Japanese, and Australian forces during the search,” Smith said in a press release.