SAN DIEGO, California – Tragedy struck the U.S. Marine Corps during a routine training flight when a helicopter carrying five Marines crashed, resulting in their deaths. The incident occurred on Tuesday night and the missing Marines were officially declared deceased more than 24 hours later, according to the Marine Corps on Thursday.
The helicopter in question, a CH-53E Super Stallion, was reported overdue to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar after departing from Creech Air Force Base near Las Vegas. It was en route to Miramar, located in the San Diego area. The Marine Corps launched a search operation, seeking assistance from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and Civil Air Patrol in their efforts to locate the missing helicopter and its occupants.
Despite the Sheriff’s Department’s attempts to aid in the search by deploying their own helicopter, the ongoing atmospheric river storm inhibited them from reaching the area. Undeterred, the department dispatched off-road vehicles to navigate the treacherous terrain. Eventually, the missing helicopter was discovered at 9:08 a.m. the next day.
Currently, authorities are actively working to recover the remains of the five victims. Meanwhile, an investigation is underway to determine the cause of the crash. The news of their tragic deaths has struck a chord across the nation, with President Joe Biden expressing his condolences and sadness over the incident. He emphasized that the training mission was considered routine, making the accident all the more tragic.
“We will forever be grateful for their call to duty and selfless service,” said Maj. Gen. Michael J. Borgschulte. He extended his deepest condolences to the families of the fallen Marines and pledged continuous support during this difficult time.
The devastating loss serves as a reminder of the risks and sacrifices that military personnel face every day. As the Marine Corps and related agencies continue their efforts to provide answers and support, the nation mourns the loss of these brave warriors.