The U.S. Marine Corps has publicly identified the 15 Marines and one Navy Corpsman who were tragically killed during the KC-130T Hercules crash last Monday afternoon in Leflore County, Miss. A video tribute to the fallen, which you can watch below, has also been released by the service.
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Aboard the KC-130T when it went down were Maj. Caine M. Goyette; Capt. Sean E. Elliott; Gunnery Sgt. Mark A. Hopkins; Gunnery Sgt. Brendan C. Johnson; Staff Sgt. Joshua M. Snowden; Sgt. Julian M. Kevianne; Sgt. Owen J. Lennon; Cpl. Daniel I. Baldassare; Cpl. Collin J. Schaaff; Staff Sgt. Robert H. Cox; Staff Sgt. William J. Kundrat; Sgt. Chad E. Jenson; Sgt. Talon R. Leach; Sgt. Joseph J. Murray; Sgt. Dietrich A. Schmieman; and Petty Officer 2nd Class Ryan M. Lohrey.
The KC-130T—part of Marine Air Refueler Transport Squadron 452 based at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, N.Y.—was transporting a team from Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command, specifically the 2nd Raider Battalion based at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., said Brig. Gen. Bradley S. James, commanding general, 4th Marine Aircraft Wing.
The flight was en route from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C. to Naval Air Facility El Centro, Calif. when James said “at approximately 1600, that’s 4 o’clock, CDT, air traffic control lost radar contact. Shortly thereafter, large plumes of smoke were discovered in the Itta Bena, Mississippi area. More specifically, two large impact areas are one half mile north of Hwy 82 and the other is one half mile south of Hwy 82. Indications are something went wrong at cruise altitude.”
Officials are working to determine the exact cause of the crash.
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“We remain committed to the surviving families, and will continue the thorough investigation into the cause of this tragedy,” Gen. Robert B. Neller, 37th Commandant of the United States Marine Corps, said.