Three Marines killed in a December plane crash are finally coming home.
Five Marines aboard a KC-130J Hercules and one Marine on an F/A-18 Hornet were killed when both planes went down about 200 miles off the Japanese coast.
A recent salvage operation of the KC-130J crash site recovered the remains of three of the Marines, who were later identified, Corps officials said.
The remains of Lt. Col. Kevin R Herrmann, Maj. James M. Brophy, and Staff Sgt. Maximo A. Flores will be released to their families, a III MEF news release says.
The salvage effort did not recover the remains of Cpl. Daniel E. Baker and of Cpl. William C. Ross, the news release says.
Capt. Jahmar F. Resilard, the F/A-18 pilot, was pronounced dead after being rescued off the coast of Kochi, Japan, on Dec. 6.
Both the KC-130J's cockpit voice recorder and digital voice recover have been recovered. The cause of the crash is under investigation.
“Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families and all those who loved our fallen warriors,” Maj. Gen. Thomas Weidley, former commander of 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, said in a statement.
“I am extremely grateful for the professionalism, dedication, and support of those who brought our Marines home.”