Two of the three missing Marines have been identified by family members as Lt. Banjamin Robert Cross from ME and Corporal Nathan Ordwa from Kansas. The high school tweeted out a message: “Please keep the family of Ruben Velasco, WCHS ’16, US Marine, in your thoughts and prayers”.
Velasco was a field artillery fire control Marine, from West Covina, California, according to the Marine Corps.
The MV-22 – a hybrid helicopter-turboprop with a checkered safety record – has two engines positioned on fixed wingtips that allow it to land and take off vertically.
The 26-year-old had been stationed on the Japanese island of Okinawa for the past year, his family told the Portland Press Herald.
The Australian Navy has found an aircraft that crashed on Saturday.
As dive teams continue to recover debris from the site of the crash, the service has identified the three Marines lost in the tragedy.
The crash marked the first major accident involving an Osprey since its deployment in Japan in 2012 and had Okinawan officials vehemently call for the planes to be withdrawn from Japan. The Osprey is an assault-support aircraft with the capability to land and take off vertically. The ship’s small boats and aircraft immediately responded in the search and rescue efforts, and 23 of 26 personnel aboard the aircraft were rescued. Cross was assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 (VMM-265). -Australian joint military exercise that ended in late July.
Marine authorities are investigating the incident.
The Osprey can carry more troops farther and faster than any helicopter, but its tilt rotor technology has been criticized ever since a horrendous crash 17 years ago in which 19 Marines died.
In December, a “controlled landing” of an Osprey just off the Okinawan coast during a training flight sparked local anger.