Family members described Cross as a natural leader and true friend who improved the lives of everyone who knew him.
"Ben meant so much to everyone he touched, and those that touched him," said his father, Robert Cross. "We are so proud of him and everything he accomplished."
Cross, 26, was among three Marines killed on Aug. 5 when their MV-22 Osprey crashed into the Coral Sea while trying to land on a Navy ship off the east coast of Australia. Fellow Marines Cpl. Nathaniel Ordway, 21, of Kansas and Lance Cpl. Ruben Velasco, 19, of California also died in the crash.
Cross had been stationed on the Japanese island of Okinawa for the past year and was training in Australia for the last three months, family members said.
Cross, a first lieutenant who was promoted posthumously to captain, spent most of his childhood in Bethel, where he was a standout athlete and student.
He graduated in 2009 from Telstar Regional High School in Bethel.
(c)2017 the Portland Press Herald (Portland, Maine)