The remains of Marines killed in a 2018 crash of a KC-103J Hercules off Japan have been recovered and are being transported to Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, for identification, officials have announced.
The KC-130J aerial tanker and an F/A-18D Hornet went down on Dec. 6, 2018 during an exercise roughly 200 miles of the Japanese coast. The Hornet's pilot Capt. Jahmar F. Resilard was pronounced dead after being rescued. Another Marine aviator aboard the Hornet survived.
All five Marines with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152 on the aerial tanker were killed: Lt. Col. Kevin R. Herrmann, 38; Maj. James M. Brophy, 36; Staff Sgt. Maximo A. Flores, 27; Cpl. Daniel E. Baker, 21; and Cpl. William C. Ross, 21.
The fallen Marines' remains were recovered as part of a salvage effort of the KC-130J crash site, III Marine Expeditionary Force announced in a news release.
“At this time, the number and identity of those recovered is not known,” the news release says.
The salvage effort also recovered the KC-130J's cockpit voice recorder and digital flight recorder, which will be analyzed at Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland. An investigation into the crash is ongoing.