Family members have now identified two of the three Marines missing after an Osprey aircraft crashed Saturday off the coast of Australia. The Australian Navy found the sunken blend of a helicopter and plane overnight.
The family of First Lieutenant Benjamin Cross says the 26-year-old was a skilled dedicated pilot.
Lt. Cross and Corporal Nathan Ordway have now been identified by family members as two of the three missing US Marines from Saturday night’s crash.
An Osprey aircraft was carrying 26 Marines as it attempted to land aboard the amphibious transport ship, the U.S.S. Green Bay. Something then caused the Osprey to plunge into the water about 30 miles off the east coast of Australia.
The Pentagon has not yet identified the third missing Marine. All three men are presumed dead. 23 others were rescued.
The Marines had just wrapped up a major exercise with Australian forces and on Saturday were conducting training of their own when the accident happened.
The Osprey sank to the bottom and it will now take a major salvage operation to recover it.
The Osprey has been controversial because of accidents that have happened during its production and deployment, but Lt. Cross’ father says his son thought the aircraft was unfairly maligned and that he really enjoyed flying it.