The Marine Corps has identified the three Marines who died when the MV-22B Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft in which they were flying crashed Aug. 5 in the Shoalwater Bay Training Area near Queensland, Australia. They are:
* 1st Lt. Benjamin R. Cross, 26, Oxford, Maine.
* Cpl. Nathaniel F. Ordway, 21, Sedgwick, Kan.
* PFC. Ruben P. Velasco, 19, Los Angeles.
Cross and Ordway were assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265, based at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Japan. Velasco was assigned to Battery G, Battalion Landing Team, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, based at Camp Pendleton, Calif.
Stars and Stripes reported Aug. 7 that Japanese military officials have urged the Marine Corps to ground all Osprey flights in and around Futenma, investigate the cause of the crash, and provide any information to them once it becomes available.
The paper also reported that the plane crashed as it was approaching the amphibious transport dock Green Bay. The Osprey apparently hit Green Bay’s deck hard and slid into the ocean. Search-and-rescue teams rescued 23 other Marines.