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US Marines killed in Australian aircraft crash were from Illinois, Virginia and Colorado

This combination of photos provided by U.S. Marines Corps., shows Marine V-22B Osprey pilot Capt. Eleanor V. Beau, center, Cpl. Spencer R. Collart, left, and Maj. Tobin J. Lewis, right. The U.S. Marine Corps has released the names of the three Marines killed in a fiery tiltrotor aircraft crash on a north Australian island this week and said one off their colleagues remained in hospital in a critical condition.

CANBERRA, Australia — The three U.S. Marines killed in a tiltrotor aircraft crash during a training exercise in Australia were from Illinois, Virginia and Colorado and another Marine was in critical condition, the Marine Corps said Tuesday.

This undated photo provided by U.S. Marines Corps shows Marine V-22B Osprey pilot Capt. Eleanor V. Beau. The U.S. Marine Corps on Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2023, released the names, including Beau, of three Marines killed in a fiery tiltrotor aircraft crash on a north Australian island this week.(U.S. Marines Corps via AP) AP

The Marine V-22B Osprey with 23 Marines on board crashed Sunday in tropical forest on Melville Island while taking part in Exercise Predators Run, a drill that includes the militaries of Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines and East Timor.

All 20 survivors were injured and were flown by rescue aircraft 80 kilometers (50 miles) south to the city of Darwin within hours of the crash. Three of those Marines remained in Royal Darwin Hospital on Tuesday, one in critical condition and two stable, a Marines statement said. Their names have not been released.

Up to 2,500 U.S. Marines have been based in Darwin for six months a year since 2012 as part of the U.S. military pivot to Asia to counter China’s growing influence in the region.

Col. Brendan Sullivan, the commanding officer of the Marine Rotation Force-Darwin, said the Marines’ focus was on supporting the recovery of wreckage and investigating the cause.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of three respected and beloved members of the MRF-D family,” Sullivan said in a statement.

“Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families and with all involved,” Sullivan added.

The three killed were Osprey pilot Capt. Eleanor V. Beau, 29, originally of Belleville, Illinois; Cpl. Spencer R. Collart, 21, from Arlington, Virginia, and Maj. Tobin J. Lewis, 37, from Jefferson, Colorado. All were based in Darwin.

President Joe Biden has also offered his condolences to their families.

“Jill and I send our deepest condolences to the families of the Marines who lost their lives in this deadly crash,” Biden tweeted, referring to his wife Jill Biden. “We are praying for those who also suffered injuries.”

The Osprey is a hybrid aircraft that takes off and lands like a helicopter but during flight can tilt its propellers forward and cruise much faster like an airplane.

Before Sunday, there had been five fatal crashes of Marine Ospreys since 2012, causing a total of 16 deaths.

Three Marines were killed when an Osprey plunged into the Coral Sea off Australia’s northeast coast in 2017. The remaining 23 people on board were rescued.

Royal Australian Navy sailor Leading Seaman Keely Hagedoorn guides a U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey during take-off and landing practice on the flight deck of HMAS Adelaide in the Whitsunday Islands off the coast of Australia during Exercise Sea Raider, Aug. 7, 2023. The Australian Defense Department said a Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft crashed on Melville Island, Sunday, Aug. 27, 2023 during Exercise Predators Run, which involves the militaries of the United States, Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines and East Timor. (SGT Andrew Sleeman/Royal Australian Navy via AP) AP
Picture of Associated Press

Associated Press

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