Five Missing Marines Declared Dead After KC-130 Crash Off Japan

Bullet Points

Five Marines aboard a KC-130J Hercules who have been missing since a Dec. 6 crash have been declared dead, ending search and rescue operations, Corps officials have announced.


  • “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,” Lt. Gen. Eric Smith, commander of III Marine Expeditionary Force, said in a news release.
  • The families of all five Marines have been notified, a Marine Corps news release says. The Defense Department announces the names of service members killed 24 hours after next of kin notification.
  • A total of six Marines were killed in the Dec. 6 crash. In addition to the Marines on the KC-130, a Marine aviator aboard an F/A-18D Hornet died when the two planes went down about 200 miles off the Japanese coast. Capt. Jahmar F. Resilard was an F/A-18 pilot assigned to Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242, based out of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan.
  • The two planes were flying a training exercise at the time of the crash, the news release says. Investigators have not yet determined if the crash happened during the aerial refueling part of the exercise.
  • The KC-130 was assigned to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152 (call sign "Sumo"), 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, the Marine Corps news release says.
  • "All of us in the Sumo family are extremely saddened following the announcement of the conclusion of search and rescue operations," squadron commander Lt. Col. Mitchell T. Maury said in the news release. “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.”

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