MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP BUTLER, Okinawa, Japan, Aug. 8, 2017 — Three U.S. Marines have been declared deceased after extensive search-and-rescue efforts when an MV-22B Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft entered the water off the coast of the Shoalwater Bay Training Area, Queensland, Australia, the evening of Aug. 5.

The deceased are:

-- Marine Corps 1st Lt. Benjamin R. Cross, 26, of Oxford, Maine. Cross was assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265. His decorations include the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

-- Marine Corps Cpl. Nathaniel F. Ordway, 21, of Sedgwick, Kan. Ordway also was assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265. His decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

-- Marine Corps Pfc. Ruben P. Velasco, 19, of Los Angeles. Velasco was assigned to Battery G, Battalion Landing Team, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines. His decorations include the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

Commander Expresses Condolences

"The loss of every Marine is felt across our entire Marine Corps family. To the families of the brave Marines we lost -- there is no way for us to understand what you are going through," said Marine Corps Col. Tye R. Wallace, commanding officer of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. "What we do know is that your Marines left a lasting impression on the 31st MEU, the Marine Corps, and the world," Wallace continued. "They will live on forever in our thoughts and our hearts. You will always be a part of the Marine Corps family, and you will remain in our prayers."   back...
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