A 24-year-old Osprey crew chief was identified Tuesday as the sole fatality aboard an MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft that crashed and burned on a training mission in Hawaii with 21 Marines and a Navy Corpsman aboard.
One Marine was critically injured in the accident Sunday at Marine Corps Training Area Bellows on the island of Oahu and three others remained hospitalized in stable condition.
Cpl. Joshua E. Barron, 24, of Spokane, Wash., was identified as the Marine who died Sunday of injuries sustained when the Osprey went down, according to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). The Marines initially called the accident a "hard landing" but later Marine releases referred to it as a crash.
Video taken by Oahu residents Sunday near the training area showed three Ospreys flying slowly in column in helicopter mode as they prepared to land to disembark troops for the exercise. Later video showed black smoke billowing from the hulk of the wrecked Osprey.
"There was a fire" and it was "unclear at this point whether or not the fire is what caused the hard landing or whether or not the fire broke out after" the Osprey was on the ground, said Army Col. Steve Warren. "There were injuries associated with the fire."
Barron was a tilt-rotor crew chief assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 161 (Rein.), of the 15th MEU. He was stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar prior to deploying with the 15th MEU.
"Words cannot express our sorrow at the tragic loss of this fine young man. He is the best our nation has to offer," said Col. Vance L. Cryer, commander of the 15th MEU.
"If there is anything positive to relay in this situation it is that the heroic, selfless actions of the Marines aboard the aircraft along with the quick life-saving actions of the civilian and military first responders."
-- Richard Sisk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org