On April 29, the United States Marine Corps identified the three U.S. Marines that were killed in an MV-22B Osprey aircraft crash in Australia two days prior.
Marine Lt. Benjamin Cross, 26, of Oxford, Maine, Sgt. Talon Leach, 27, of Hudson, North Carolina, and Cpl. Nathan Ordway, 21, of Sedgwick, Kansas were killed when the aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff at Shoalwater Bay Training Area near Rockhampton, Australia.
According to Marine officials, a third aircraft was involved in the incident and was able to land safely. All three of the deceased Marines were part of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, which is based out of Okinawa, Japan.
The MV-22B Osprey is a tiltrotor aircraft, which combines the functionality of both a helicopter and an airplane. It has been in service since 2000 and has seen active duty in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations throughout the world.
The incident is currently under investigation by the U.S. Marine Corps and Australian defence. In a statement, the Marine Corps said they will provide updates on the investigation as information becomes available.
The incident is a somber reminder of the dangers of military service and duty. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the victims in this tragedy.