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Marine Corps Declares 12 Missing Marines Deceased

  • Marine CH-53 Helicopters. Marine Corps photo Marine CH-53 Helicopters. Marine Corps photo
  • A search vessel cruises the waters off the beach at Haleiwa, Hawaii, Jan. 15, 2016. Two Marine helicopters carrying 12 crew members collided off the island of Oahu during a nighttime training mission, military officials said. (AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy) A search vessel cruises the waters off the beach at Haleiwa, Hawaii, Jan. 15, 2016. Two Marine helicopters carrying 12 crew members collided off the island of Oahu during a nighttime training mission, military officials said. (AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy)

A day after calling off a search-and-rescue mission for 12 Marines who went down in a two-helicopter collision off the coast of Oahu, the Marine Corps has officially declared that the Marines are lost.

Four officers and eight enlisted crew members went down when two CH-53E Super Stallions attached to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463 out of Hawaii collided during routine night training Jan. 14. A joint search-and-rescue effort led by the Coast Guard combed a debris field off Oahu's north shore for five days, turning up four empty life rafts and aircraft parts, but no survivors.

Capt. Timothy Irish, a spokesman for III Marine Expeditionary Force, said the Marine Corps updated the status of the missing men to "deceased" Jan. 20, following the end of the search.

He confirmed to Military.com that remains had been recovered from the wreckage.

Irish also released new details about the Marines, whose ages ranged from 41 to 21. Several had seen service in Iraq or Afghanistan; all were attached to HMH-463, Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing stationed at Marine Corps Base Hawaii at the time of the crash.

According to Marine officials, the deceased are:

Maj. Shawn M. Campbell, CH-53E Super Stallion pilot
Campbell, 41, from College Station, Texas, joined the Marine Corps Sept. 30, 1999. His deployments include Operation Iraqi Freedom and the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit. Major Campbell's decorations include the Air Medal with strike/flight device, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with gold star in lieu of second award, Navy Unit Commendation with two bronze stars in lieu of third award, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with two bronze campaign stars, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with two bronze stars in lieu of third award.

Capt. Brian T. Kennedy, CH-53E Super Stallion pilot
Kennedy, 31, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, joined the Marine Corps July 1, 2003.
His decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with one bronze star in lieu of second award.

Capt. Kevin T. Roche, a CH-53E Super Stallion pilot
Roche, 30, from St. Louis, Missouri, joined the Marine Corps Dec. 19, 2005. His deployments include Operation Enduring Freedom.
His decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with one bronze star in lieu of second award.

Capt. Steven R. Torbert, CH-53E Super Stallion pilot
Torbert, 29, from Florence, Alabama, joined the Marine Corps Oct.14, 2004.
His decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

Sgt. Adam C. Schoeller. CH-53E Super Stallion crew chief
Schoeller, 25, from Gardners, Pennsylvania, joined the Marine Corps March 23, 2008. His deployments include Operation Enduring Freedom.
His decorations include the Air Medal with one individual action device and five strike/flight devices, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal with bronze star in lieu of second award, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with bronze star in lieu of second award, and the NATO Medal.

Sgt. Dillon J. Semolina, CH-53E Super Stallion crew chief
Semolina, 24, from Chaska, Minnesota joined the Marine Corps Sept. 1, 2011.
His decorations include the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

Sgt. Jeffrey A. Sempler, a CH-53E Super Stallion crew chief
Sempler, 22, from Woodruff, South Carolina joined the Marine Corps Aug. 12, 2010.
His decorations include the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

Sgt. William J. Turner, CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter crew chief
Turner, 25, from Florala, California, joined the Marine Corps Aug. 8, 2008. His deployments include Operation Enduring Freedom.
His decorations include the Air Medal with four strike/flight devices, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal with bronze star in lieu of second award, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon and the NATO Medal.

Cpl. Matthew R. Drown, a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter crew chief
Drown, 23, from Spring, Texas, joined the Marine Corps March 2, 2011.
His decorations include the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

Cpl. Thomas J. Jardas. a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter crew chief
Jardas, 22, from Ft. Myers, Florida, joined the Marine Corps May 6, 2011.
His decorations include the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

Cpl. Christopher J. Orlando. a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter crew chief
Orlando, 23, from Hingham, Massachusetts, joined the Marine Corps Aug. 9, 2012.
His decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

Lance Cpl. Ty L. Hart, CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter crew chief
Hart, 21, from Aumsville, Oregon, joined the Marine Corps Aug, 8 2012. His decorations include the National Defense Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

Irish said that Marine Corps Base Hawaii planned to hold a Jan. 22 memorial service for the men aboard the base.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Marines and their families as we all mourn this tragic loss of life," he said in a news release.

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