The second Marine who died of injuries from the crash of an MV-22B Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft in Hawaii earlier this week was a 21-year-old rifleman from the same Arizona hometown as a 22-year-old Lance Corporal killed in the crash of a UH-1Y Huey helicopter in Nepal last week.
The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit on Thursday identified the second fatality from the May 17 Osprey accident as Lance Cpl. Matthew Determan, 21, of Maricopa, Ariz., near Phoenix.
On May 12 in Nepal, 22-year-old Lance Cpl. Jacob A. Hug, also of Maricopa, was one of six Marines and two Nepalese soldiers who were killed in the crash of the Huey while on an earthquake relief mission.
Determan was a rifleman with the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, which was conducting training exercises as part of the 15th MEU on the island of Oahu when the accident occurred Sunday at Marine Training Area-Bellows. He died of his injuries Wednesday.
Lance Cpl. Joshua E. Barron, 24, of Spokane, Wash., a crew chief aboard the Osprey, was killed when the aircraft went down Sunday. A total of 21 Marines and one Navy Corpsman were aboard the Osprey at the time of the accident, whose cause under investigation.
"Lance Cpl. Determan represents the best America has to offer," said Col Vance L. Cryer, the 15th MEU commander. "Our country and our Corps are poorer for his loss, but his example will continue to inspire us."
Determan had been stationed at Camp Pendleton, Calif., before deploying with the 15th MEU, which was scheduled to deploy to the U.S. Central Command's area of responsibility in the Mideast following the training exercises in Hawaii. Determan's awards included the National Defense Service Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
In Maricopa, Luis Sharpe, a friend of Determan's, recalled going to visit him at Camp Pendleton recently and seeing his friend's pride at becoming a Marine.
"When I first saw him, I was so proud, seeing him living on the Marine base, seeing him in his uniform, I was just so proud to see him living his dream," Sharpe told ABC15 TV in Arizona.
The Marines have defended the safety record of the Ospreys, which became operational in 2007 and have flown in Iraq and Afghanistan, the accident last Sunday renewed concerns in Japan over the stationing of the aircraft in Okinawa.
"From the (Okinawan) residents' point of view, Osprey deployment is not acceptable to begin with," Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga said at a news conference following the crash.
"The significance of this crash is extremely big," Onaga said. "We seek an adequate investigation into the cause and an explanation, and of course eventually demand the withdrawal of Ospreys."
-- Richard Sisk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org