Marine Corps to Honor First Responders to Osprey Crash in Hawaii

Smoke rises from a Marine Corps Osprey aircraft after it made a hard landing on Bellows Air Force Station in Hawaii May 17. (Photo: Kimberly Hynd, AP)
Smoke rises from a Marine Corps Osprey aircraft after it made a hard landing on Bellows Air Force Station in Hawaii May 17. (Photo: Kimberly Hynd, AP)

The Marine Corps and the city of Honolulu will host a joint ceremony Friday in honor of the military and civilian first responders who assisted in the aftermath of a fatal MV-22 Osprey crash in May.

The commander of Marine Corps Forces Pacific Command, Lt. Gen. John Toolan, will preside over the ceremony, which will feature music, speakers, a flag presentation, and various forms of recognition for the first responders, according to officials with MARFORPAC.

Officials told Military.com that a full list of the responders who would be honored was still being compiled. Awards including letters of appreciation and certificates of commendation will be distributed, they said.

The crash took place May 17 at Marine Corps Training Area Bellows in Oahu, where elements of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit were training. The Osprey, attached to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 161, was attempting to land in low-visibility conditions and amid high levels of dust and debris, which ultimately stalled one of the engines, causing the crash.

The crew chief, Lance Cpl. Joshua Barron, 24, was killed immediately in the crash. Lance Cpl. Matthew Determan, 21, died of injuries days later.

The 20 other troops on board were all injured in the crash.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, 15th MEU commanding officer Col. Vance Cryer released a statement honoring those who had come to the rescue following the crash.

"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," he said. According to emergency services logs compiled by local television station KHON 2, that rescue effort included a "good Samaritan" with a pick-up truck, who drove two injured Marines 10 miles to the closest emergency room at Castle Medical Center.

-- Hope Hodge Seck can be reached at hope.seck@monster.com. Follow her on Twitter at @HopeSeck.

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