Four of the five U.S. Marines declared dead after a two warplanes crashed last week over the waters off coastal Japan were identified Tuesday.
Family members of the fallen Marines identified their loved ones to Stars and Stripes as Maj. Kevin Herrmann, 38, of Fredericksburg, Va.; Staff Sgt. Maximo Flores, 27, of Litchfield Park, Ariz.; Cpl. Carter Ross, 21, from Hendersonville, Tenn., and Cpl. Daniel Baker, 21, of Tremont, Ill.
The Marine Corps announced Monday the five missing crewmembers were declared dead and a search for them had ended.
“All of us in the Sumo family are extremely saddened following the announcement of the conclusion of search and rescue operations,” Lt. Col. Mitchell Maury, commander of Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152, said in the statement. “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 aircrew.”
The planes – a KC-130 refueling jet and F/A-18 jet – crashed 200 miles off the coast of southwestern Japn after taking off for a training mission from a base in Okinawa. Seven Marines were aboard both aircraft - two on the F/A/-18 jet and five on the refueling plane.
A fighter pilot involved in the crash who died was identified last week as Capt. Jahmar Resilard, 28, of Miramar, Fla.
The cause of the crash has not been determined.
The crash is the latest in recent series of accidents involving the U.S. military deployed to and near Japan.
Last month, a U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet from the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan crashed into the sea southwest of Japan's southern island of Okinawa, though its two pilots were rescued safely. In mid-October, a MH-60 Seahawk also belonging to the Ronald Reagan crashed off the Philippine Sea shortly after takeoff, causing non-fatal injuries to a dozen sailors.