The Marine Corps has identified the five Marines who died in a KC-130J Hercules crash off the coast of Japan on Dec. 6.
The fallen Marines were assigned to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152 (VMGR-152) and onboard a KC-130 refueling aircraft when a mishap occurred with a Marine F/A-18 Hornet.
"They were exceptional aviators, Marines, and friends whom will be eternally missed," Lt. Col. Mitchell T. Maury, commanding officer of VMGR-152, said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers remain with their families and loved ones at this extremely difficult time."
Lt. Col. Kevin R. Herrmann, 38, of New Bern, North Carolina. Hermann had served 16 years in the Corps and was posthumously promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel. He leaves behind a wife and three daughters.
Maj. James M. Brophy, 36, of Staatsburg, New York. Brophy had been in the Corps for 12 years, and leaves behind a wife, son, and a daughter.
Staff Sgt. Maximo A. Flores, 27, of Surprise, Arizona. Flores had been a Marine for nine years. He is survived by his wife.
Cpl. Daniel E. Baker, 21, of Tremont, Illinois. Baker served for two years, and leaves behind his mother and father.
Cpl. William C. Ross, 21, of Hendersonville, Tennessee. Ross served for two years, and leaves behind his mother and father.
The Corps previously identified the deceased Hornet pilot as Capt. Jahmar Resilard; his copilot survived the incident.
The crash remains under investigation. A previous news release said both planes were flying a training exercise about 200 miles off the Japanese coast when the accident happened.
A search and rescue effort for the missing Marines was called off on Dec. 11.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
Coast Guard cutter Bertholf on a counterdrug patrol in the eastern Pacific Ocean, March 11, 2018. (U.S. Coast Guard/Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Trees
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