The victims, based at Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, were all assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 364, Marine Aircraft Group 39 and 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, according to a release from Major Mason Englehart of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. Their names are as follows:
- Cpl. Nathan E. Carlson, 21, of Winnebago, Illinois, a Tiltrotor Crew Chief
- Capt. Nicholas P. Losapio, 31, of Rockingham, New Hampshire, an MV-22B Pilot
- Cpl. Seth D. Rasmuson, 21, of Johnson, Wyoming, a Tiltrotor Crew Chief
- Capt. John J. Sax, 33, of Placer, California, an MV-22B Pilot
- Lance Cpl. Evan A. Strickland, 19, of Valencia, New Mexico, a Tiltrotor Crew Chief
The crash, involving a MV-22B Osprey, happened around 12:25 p.m., 1st Lt. Duane Kampa said. The crew and aircraft were conducting routine flight training, Englehart stated.
“It is with heavy hearts that we mourn the loss of five Marines from the Purple Fox family” said Lt. Col. John C. Miller, commanding officer of VMM-364. “This is an extremely difficult time for VMM-364 and it is hard to express the impact that this loss has had on our squadron and its families. Our primary mission now is taking care of the family members of our fallen Marines and we respectfully request privacy for their families as they navigate this difficult time. We appreciate all the prayers and support from the strong extended Purple Fox family and want them to know that more information will be forthcoming on how to help.”
The incident is currently under investigation.