U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Joseph Abrego(WASHINGTON) — The Marine Corps has identified the five Marines killed aboard a KC-130 refueling tanker when it collided with a F/A-18 fighter jet off the coast of Japan last week.
They were identified as Lt. Col. Kevin R. Herrmann, 38, of New Bern, North Carolina; Maj. James M. Brophy, 36, of Staatsburg, New York; Staff Sgt. Maximo A. Flores, 27, of Surprise, Arizona; Cpl. Daniel E. Baker, 21, of Tremont, Illinois; and Cpl. William C. Ross, 21, of Hendersonville, Tennessee.
They were declared deceased earlier this week after an exhaustive search and rescue effort, covering 35,000 square miles, failed to find them or their missing aircraft.
Last Wednesday, the two aircraft were participating in an overnight refueling exercise 200 miles off the southwest coast of Japan. The Marine Corps has not been able to confirm that the two aircraft were conducting a midair refueling aircraft when the mishap occurred. The incident remains under investigation.
The two aviators aboard the Marine fighter jet were able to eject from their aircraft, but the KC-130 refueling tanker did not have that capability.
Japanese Maritime Self Defense Forces found one of the two Marines aboard the fighter jet alive four hours after the collision. Capt. Jahmar F. Resilard, 28, was recovered six hours later but pronounced deceased.
The five Marines aboard the KC-130 were all assigned to Marine Aerial Refueler Transportation Squadron 152 (VMGR-152) based in Japan.
"It is with heavy hearts that we announce the names of our fallen Marines," said U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Mitchell T. Maury, commanding officer of VMGR-152. "They were exceptional aviators, Marines, and friends whom will be eternally missed. Our thoughts and prayers remain with their families and loved ones at this extremely difficult time."
Lt. Col. Kevin R. Herrmann served 16 years in the Marine Corps and served as the unit's Executive Officer. He was posthumously promoted to the rank of Lt. Colonel. Hermann's decorations include the Air Medal with 24 Strike Flight Awards, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, and two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals. He is survived by his wife and three daughters.
Maj. James M. Brophy served 12 years in the Marine Corps. His decorations include the Air Medal with two Strike Flight Awards, one Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and one Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. He is survived by his wife, son and daughter.
Staff Sgt. Maximo A. Flores served nine years in the Marine Corps. His decorations include one Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal, and a Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal with one bronze star. He is survived by his wife.
Cpl. Daniel E. Baker served two years in the Marine Corps. His decorations include the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. He is survived by his mother and father.
Cpl. William C. Ross served two years in the Marine Corps. His decorations include the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. He is survived by his mother and father.
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