The three Marines missing from the “mishap” of the MV-22 Osprey in Australia on Saturday have been officially declared deceased and the search and rescue mission called off. It has now been declared a recovery mission.
The Australian ship HMAS Melville arrived to the scene of the incident to assist US-led recovery efforts. After survey operations began, the submerged aircraft was located in Shoalwater Bay. Divers have begun searching the wreckage.
The three missing Marines are: Osprey crew chief Cpl. Nathan Ordway of Wichita, aviator 1st Lt. Benjamin Robert Cross of Maine, and Ruben Velasco of Southern California. The Marine Corps has ot officially named the, these names came from family releases. It is not known who was piloting the Osprey when the incident occurred.
According to a family posting,”while returning to his ship, the Aircraft struck the stern of the ship and crashed into the sea.” The investigation is ongoing. It is unknown if there were any remains found inside the submerged aircraft.
According to KTLA, Ruben Velasco was only 19 years old and had celebrated his birthday just a few days before the mishap.
“We are all in disbelief and cannot fathom the loss of our son. The grief my wife has to bare is immeasurable. Richard Velasco, Ruben’s father, is equally devastated. My heart is broken for our family’s loss.” Velasco GoFundMe
1st Lt Benjamin Robert Cross
According to the Maine Press-Herald,
Cross, who attended the Virginia Military Institute on a full scholarship, was a Marine aviator who loved to fly, his family said Sunday.
“He was so smart and just a great guy,” said Ryan Cross, his older brother.
Cross had been stationed on Okinawa for about a year.
Kansas.com stated that friends of Nathan Ordway had taken to Facebook to write their memories.
“Just learned that one of the poolees, Nathan Ordway, I had the pleasure of helping into the Marines Corps was 1 of the 3 missing Marines from the crash in Australia. Even though I did not have the pleasure to personally recruit him, I remember talking to him hours on end about being a crew chief and remember how excited he was to become a Marine.” Nathan Harrel
For all three of these Marines, the common factor is their love of the Marine Corps. They were proud of their service, and proud to wear the uniform of the US Marines.
Featured photo – left to right: 1st Lt Benjamin R Cross, Crew Chief Cpl Nathan Ordway, Ruben Velasco