5 missing Marines declared dead in U.S. military Aircraft’s crash off Japan
The U.S. military said Tuesday that five missing crew members have been declared dead after their refueling plane collided with a fighter jet last week off Japan’s southern coast and that search and recovery operations have been halted.
See incident details: U.S. Marine Corps C-130 & F/A-18 crash off the coast of Japan, after an Aerial Refueling Mishap
The five were on a KC-130 Hercules refueling aircraft that collided last Thursday with an F/A-18 Hornet during regular training. The warplanes crashed into the sea south of Japan’s Shikoku island.
Two crew members in the F/A-18 were recovered after the accident, but one died. The U.S. Marines said the survivor was in stable condition when rescued.
The search, joined by Japanese and Australian forces, was halted Tuesday, and the cause of the crash is still under investigation, the Marines said in a statement.
It said the identities of the five people declared dead will be released after their next of kin are notified.
The Marines earlier identified the dead pilot of the F/A-18 as Capt. Jahmar Resilard, 28, of Miramar, Florida.
The crew members of the refueling aircraft were based at Iwakuni air station near Hiroshima as part of the Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152, whose call sign is Sumo.
“All of us in the Sumo family is extremely saddened following the announcement of the conclusion of search and rescue operation,” the squadron’s commanding officer, Lt. Col. Mitchell T. Maury, said in the statement. “We know this difficult decision was made after all resources were exhausted in the vigorous search for the Marines.”
“Our thoughts are heavy and our prayers are with all family and friends of all five aircrews,” Maury said.
The Marines statement said it has not been confirmed whether the two planes were involved in aerial refueling when the collision occurred.
“After an update from the Joint Personnel Recovery Center, and a review of all available information, I have made the determination to end the search and rescue operations for the crew of our KC-130J aircraft which was involved in a mishap off the southern coast of Japan and to declare that these Marine warriors are 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. The KC-130J flight data and cockpit voice recorders have not been located at this time, making it premature to speculate about wreckage recovery. Every member of the III MEF family mourns this loss and stands alongside the families of the fallen in this terrible moment. We remain, Semper Fidelis.” – LtGen Eric M. Smith, Commanding General, III MEF
Marine Corps declares remaining Marines involved in F/A-18 and KC-130 aviation mishap deceased; search and rescue operations concluded
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP BUTLER, Okinawa, Japan – The Marine Corps has pronounced the five remaining Marines involved in the F/A-18 and KC-130 aviation mishap deceased. The change in status comes at the conclusion of search and rescue operations.
The next-of-kin for the five deceased Marines have been notified.
“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,” stated U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Eric Smith, commanding general, III Marine Expeditionary Force.
Our most valued asset is the individual Marine. We remain faithful to our Marines and their families as we support them through this difficult time. We ask for members of the public to please respect the family and allow them privacy.
The KC-130 Hercules was assigned to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152 (VMGR-152, call sign “Sumo”), 1st Marine Aircraft Wing.
“All of us in the Sumo family is extremely saddened following the announcement of the conclusion of search and rescue operations,” said U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Mitchell T. Maury, commanding officer of VMGR-152. “We know this difficult decision was made after all resources were exhausted in the vigorous search for our Marines. Our thoughts are heavy and our prayers are with all family and friends of all five aircrews.”
The F/A-18 Hornet involved was assigned to Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242 (VMFA-242). The aircraft was conducting regularly-scheduled training. It is not confirmed that aerial refueling was ongoing when the mishap occurred.
The Marine Corps rigorously investigates all aviation mishaps to identify the causes, learn from them, and mitigate future incidents.
The circumstances of the mishap are currently under investigation. There is no additional information available at this time. The identities of the Marines will be provided 24 hours after next of kin have been notified. Media can contact III Marine Expeditionary Force public affairs at