The three US Marines who were killed in an Osprey crash off the coast of Australia on Saturday evening have been identified.
1st Lt. Benjamin R. Cross, 26, of Maine; Cpl. Nathaniel F. Ordway, 21, of Kansas; and Pfc. Ruben P. Velasco, 19, of Los Angeles were killed after the MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft in which they were riding crashed, according to a Marine Corps press statement.
The Osprey was trying to land on the USS Green Bay about 18 miles off the Shoalwater Bay Training Area, in Queensland, Australia when it crashed, the Marine Corps and CBS said. The 23 other Marines onboard the aircraft were saved.
The US Navy and Marine Corps, with help from the Australian Defence Force, unsuccessfully searched for the 3 Marines until 3 am on Sunday morning, the Marine Corps said.
Cross had been awarded with National Defence Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
He was described by his brother as having “the highest moral character — just the most caring, compassionate, empathetic individual I’ve ever met. He would do anything for anybody that needed it, so selfless, devoted to his family and devoted to his duty in the Marine Corps, ” according to the Oxford Hills Sun Journal.
Velasco had been awarded with the National Defence Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and was said to have loved his family, girlfriend and being a Marine, according to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
Orday had also been decorated with National Defence Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, as well as the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
“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,” Col. Tye R. Wallace said in the press statement.
“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.”
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