Body of 3rd US marine killed off Australian coast recovered

AP News
Posted: Aug 25, 2017 7:23 PM

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — The remains of the third and final U.S. Marine killed when a military aircraft crashed off the east Australian coast have been recovered, the Marine Corps said on Friday.

There were 26 people aboard the tilt-rotor MV-22 Osprey when it plunged into the sea near the Queensland state city of Rockhampton during military exercises on Aug. 5.

Marine 1st Lt. Benjamin Cross, 26, of Oxford, Maine; Cpl. Nathaniel Ordway, 21, of Sedgwick, Kansas; and Pfc. Ruben Velasco, 19, of Los Angeles, were killed in the crash.

Ordway and Velasco's remains were soon recovered, transferred to Hickham Air Force Base in Hawaii and were being sent on to their families.

"Cross' remains have now been recovered and will also be sent to Hawaii," 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit 1st Lt. Joseph Butterfield said in a statement. He said that at Hickham, the fallen service members are prepared for transport to their final destination as determined by the families.

The 23 others who were on the aircraft were rescued.

The Osprey is a tilt-rotor aircraft that takes off and lands like a helicopter, but flies like an airplane. It has been involved in a series of high-profile crashes in recent years.