Pfc. Ryan Wayne Martin (U.S. Marine Corps photo)

NORTH COUNTY, Calif. —A 19-year-old South Carolina man killed in a motorcycle crash Wednesday morning in Carlsbad was a Camp Pendleton Marine, authorities said Thursday.

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Matthew Kraft (1st Marine Division photo)

When a massive multi-agency aerial search in the High Sierras revealed heat coming from a snow-covered location along the Sierra High Route, family members of 1st Lt. Matthew Kraft were hopeful.

The infantry Marine, a platoon leader with the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines at Twentynine Palms based out of Camp Pendleton, had undertaken a two-week backcountry ski trip along the 195-mile route beginning in the Inyo Forest near Lone Pine. The trip, which started Feb. 24 was to be done over 10 days, and Kraft, 24, notified family and the Marine Corps that he expected to arrive at Bridgeport March 4 or 5.

When Kraft didn't arrive as planned, a search began.

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(U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Dalton S. Swanbeck)

LAGUNA HILLS — A plan to create a permanent monument for Camp Pendleton's 3rd Battalion/5th Marines — a unit Laguna Hills adopted in 2008 — is moving forward.

The battalion, known as Darkhorse, is celebrated each year during the city's annual Memorial Day Half Marathon, which raises funds for Team Darkhorse, a community group that supports the battalion's Marines and their families. During the race, banners of the 25 Darkhorse Marines killed during a 2010 deployment to Afghanistan are displayed along the route, on city streets.

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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton has played a major role in military history over the past 77 years, and John Farritor is one of the rare men who has seen that history unfold from the start.

The Vista, California veteran, who turned 100 on Tuesday, is one of the few surviving Marine veterans who marched 55 miles from Camp Elliott in San Diego to christen the newly opened base near Oceanside in September 1942.

He also fought with Camp Pendleton-based divisions in some of the Corps' most defining and deadly battles of World War II and the Korean War, including at Iwo Jima, Bougainville, the Pusan Perimeter, the Inchon Landing and the Chosin Reservoir.

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Marcus Nelson Pringle couldn't help but smile Sunday as he waded through waist-deep muddy water.

The 30-year-old Los Angeles County man had just run nearly five miles — facing numerous obstacles — and ended up at the so-called Triple Threat of the annual Mud Run at Camp Pendleton. He walked through a roughly 43-foot mud pool, then jumped over a 5-foot wooden barrier, into another mud pool, got back on land, went into another mud pool, crawled through an 18-foot rubber tube, and then started running again. He had another 1.2 miles to go.

Nelson Pringle is a connoisseur of mud runs, a type of obstacle course race similar to military training, and was participating in his eighth. He said the challenge of mud runs are what keeps him interested and coming back.

"I normally hate running," he said.

Roughly 7,500 people participated in the 26th annual Mud Run on Saturday and Sunday, a rare opportunity for the public to come on one of the nation's largest Marine Corps bases. The run is organized by the Marine Corps Community Services department, with money earned going toward recreational activities for Marines on base and their families.

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The 1st Marine Division is mourning the loss of 1st Lt. Hugh McDowell, 24, who was killed when a light armored vehicle rolled over on Thursday at Camp Pendleton, Marine Corps officials have announced.

Six other Marines who were injured in the accident were treated for non-life threatening injuries, a 1st Marine Division news release says.

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