Wichita-area native is one of three Marines missing near Australia

Marie Harrington
August 8, 2017

The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps called off a search and rescue operation for the missing marines on Sunday and launched recovery efforts instead, essentially confirming that the military did not expect to find them alive.

Late on Monday, Defence Minister Marise Payne said the HMAS Melville had located the aircraft.

The U.S. Marine Corps had suspended a search for the three Marines missing since the MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft crashed while on regular operations on Saturday.

The Osprey is created to take off like a helicopter and rotate its propellers to fly like a plane.

The aircraft, based at the U.S. Marines' Futenma Air Station in the Okinawa city of Ginowan, crashed in a military training area off the coast of Rockhampton, Queensland, at about 4 p.m. local time.

The Osprey aircraft were in Australia for a joint military training exercise held by the US and Australia last month in Shoalwater Bay.

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One of the three Marines missing has been identified as Ben Cross of Bethel, Maine.

Ryan Cross said his brother joined the Marines because he loved challenges and loved to fly.

Twenty three of the 26 people on board were rescued.

A White House official said U.S. President Donald Trump, who is vacationing at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, was briefed on the incident by his chief-of-staff, retired Marine Corps General John Kelly. The biennial exercise involved some 30,000 troops and 200 aircraft. They have been involved in a series of high-profile crashes in recent years. The Osprey was part of a U.S.

There have been a number of incidents involving Ospreys in the past, including a crash off the coast of Okinawa in December 2016 that injured five crew members.

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.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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