Marine Corps Calls Off Search for Missing Marines in Midair Collision

Marine Corps Calls Off Search for Missing Marines in Midair Collision

Marine Corps Calls Off Search for Missing Marines in Midair Collision

The U.S. Marine Corps made a decision early Tuesday morning to discontinue the search for five missing marines on the Japan coast, one of them a Hendersonville native.

The US marines declared the missing men dead, nearly a week after an FA-18 Hornet fighter jet and KC-130 Hercules tanker plane collided before crashing into the Pacific about 200 miles off Koichi prefecture in western Japan.

Two crew members on the fighter jet were rescued after the collision, but one later died.

The U.S. Marines made the announcement late Monday. According to a news release from the Marine Corps, the next-of-kin for the fallen Marines have been notified.

MCAS Iwakuni is home to Marine Air Craft Group 12 and the Navy's Carrier Air Wing 5.

"Every possible effort was made to recover our crew and I hope the families of these selfless Americans will find comfort in the incredible efforts made by U.S., Japanese, and Australian forces during the search", Smith continued.

"The Marine Corps has pronounced the five remaining Marines involved in the F/A-18 and KC-130 aviation mishap deceased", the Marine Corps said in a statement.

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Kyodo news reported that the airmen might have been taking part in a nighttime midair refuelling exercise - a hard manoeuvre used on long-range flights - when the collision occurred.

It prompted a massive search and rescue operation, which the USA military said had now been called off.

A total of seven Marines were aboard the two aircraft at the time of the crash.

The other, identified as Capt. Jahmar F. Resilard, a 28-year-old F/A-18 pilot with Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242, was declared dead soon after he was recovered from the water. The primary mission of a KC-130 is airborne refueling.

The accident added to a lengthening list of USA military aviation accidents around the world in recent years.

In December 2016, a U.S. Marine Osprey aircraft was wrecked during a nighttime air-to-air refueling exercise in the southern Japan prefecture of Okinawa.

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