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, U.S. and Australian forces was unable to find the missing Marines, despite combing nearly 35,000 square nautical miles of ocean.
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.