Maine Native Among 3 Marines Missing After Osprey Crash

Wichita-area native is one of three Marines missing near Australia

"It's been a rough couple of days", said Robert Cross, father of 1 Lt. Benjamin Cross, who said his 26-year-old son was a skilled and dedicated pilot.

Marine Corps based in Japan and elsewhere in the Pacific are continuing apace with air operations using the MV-22 Osprey, despite requests from Tokyo to suspend those missions in the wake of a possibly fatal crash in the region over the weekend.

"He would sacrifice himself in a minute to make sure that his fellow service members were safe", Cross said. It added that Navy divers are assisting with the US -led recovery efforts. The missing Marines' next of kin have been notified.

Twenty-three Marines aboard the aircraft were rescued, but three remain missing.

Three U.S. Marines went down with the aircraft on Saturday in what U.S. officials referred to as a "mishap", and are still missing.

The aircraft had been launched from the USS Bonhomme Richard assault ship and was involved in routine operations when it crashed. The deck of the USS Green Bay was damaged in the incident.


The Osprey is created to take off like a helicopter and rotate its propellers to fly like a plane.

Payne said she had spoken with U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis "to offer Australia's support in any way that can be of assistance". The crash, which happened during a nighttime refueling at sea, enflamed protests and renewed calls for Ospreys to be expelled from the island. The Osprey deployments, along with other us military investments, "are specifically for the defense of Japan" and other American allies in the Pacific, he added.

The recent joint military exercise took place largely in Shoalwater Bay and involved more than 30,000 United States and Australian personnel, according to Australian Defense Department.

In 2015, a U.S. Osprey crashed during a training exercise in Hawaii, killing two Marines.

Most recently, an Osprey crashed in January during a special operations raid on al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen, leaving two servicemembers injured.

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