Names Released of the Servicemembers Killed in Crash

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By Debbie Gregory.

The Marine Corps has identified the 15 Marines and one sailor who were killed when their Marine KC-130T tanker-transport aircraft crashed in the Mississippi Delta.

The plane was carrying seven members of the Marines’ elite special operations 2nd Raider Battalion, including six Marine commandos and a Navy hospital corpsman attached to the unit stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

The other nine killed in the crash were crewmembers from the Marine Aerial Refueling and Transport Squadron 452, Marine Air Group 49, 4th Marine Aircraft Wing at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, N.Y.

Early indications in the crash investigation point to some type of massive mechanical failure while the four-engine cargo aircraft was at cruising altitude. Eyewitness said they saw the plane break apart in midair before crashing in a field in western Mississippi.

The 16 brave men who perished were:

  • Daniel Baldassare: The 20-year-old fixed wing aircraft crew master was from New Jersey He joined the Marine Corps in 2015 and had yet to deploy. The active duty Marine had earned a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and a National Defense Service Medal.
  • Staff Sgt. Robert H. Cox: The 28-year-old from Ventura, CA, joined the Marine Corps in 2007. He held the job of critical skills operator, the standard title for a Marine who has completed the months-long pipeline to become a Marine Raider. The active duty Marine earned two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals; Combat Action Ribbon; Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal; Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal; three Sea Service Deployment Ribbons; two Afghanistan Campaign Medals; two Armed Forces Reserve Medals; Iraq Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and other awards.
  • Sean E. Elliott: The 30-year-old aircraft commander from Orange County, CA joined the Marine Corps in 2009. The active-duty Marine earned a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, two Sea Service Deployment Ribbons, Korean Defense Service Medal, two Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medals, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and National Defense Service Medal.
  • Caine Goyette: The 41-year-old active-duty Marine was the highest ranking service member aboard the plane. He earned numerous awards, including three Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, four Sea Service Deployment Ribbons, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Marine Corps Recruiting Ribbon, two Humanitarian Service Medals, and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
  • Gunnery Sgt. Mark A. Hopkins: The 30-year-old tactical systems operator and mission specialist was from Chesapeake, VA., and served in the Marine Corps since 2001. The active-duty Marine earned the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal; two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals; five Marine Corps Good Conduct Medals; a Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; four Sea Service Deployment Ribbons; four Humanitarian Service Medals; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and numerous other awards.
  • Chad E. Jenson: The 25-year-old Marine Raider from Los Angeles joined the Marine Corps in 2010 and picked up the rank of sergeant in just over four years, an impressive achievement for any enlisted member of the military. The active-duty Marine earned the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation and other awards.
  • Gunnery Sgt. Brendan C. Johnson: The 46-year-old fixed wing aircraft crew master was from Chittenden, VT. He had served in the Marine Corps since 1994. Johnson earned three Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals; Air Medal-Strike/Flight; four Marine Corps Good Conduct Medals; two Armed Forces Reserve Medals; three Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medals; two Sea Service Deployment Ribbons; Iraq Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; two National Defense Service Medals and more than a dozen other awards.
  • Julian M. Kevianne: The 31-year-old fixed wing aircraft crew master was a Detroit native who joined the Marine Corps in 2009. He earned two Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medals, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon; Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; Armed Forces Reserve Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and a National Defense Service Medal.
  • Staff Sgt. William J. Kundrat: The 33-year-old critical skills operator from Frederick, MD was the most senior Marine Raider aboard the plane. The active-duty Marine earned the Defense Meritorious Service Medal; Combat Action Ribbon; four Sea Service Deployment Ribbons; four Marine Corps Good Conduct Medals; three Afghanistan Campaign Medals; five Iraq Campaign Medals; Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; and numerous other awards.
  • Talon R. Leach: The 27-year-old Marine Raider from Callaway, Mo., joined the Marine Corps in 2010.The active-duty Marine earned the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal; Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; Sea Service Deployment Ribbon; two Marine Corps Good Conduct Medals; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation and other awards.
  • Owen J. Lennon: The 26-year-old fixed wing aircraft crew master from Rockland County, N.Y., joined the Marine Corps in 2010. He earned two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal; Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal; Sea Service Deployment Ribbon; Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Armed Forces Reserve Medal; and a National Defense Service Medal.
  • Petty Officer 2nd Class Ryan M. Lohrey: The 30-year-old sailor was a special amphibious reconnaissance corpsman, a coveted class of sailors with special training to help their wounded comrades in some of the most austere conditions. Before joining 2nd Raider Battalion, Lohrey did time with Marine Recon units where he earned a reputation in Afghanistan as being one of the best in his field.. Hailing from Middletown, IN, the active-duty sailor earned a Purple Heart; two Combat Action Ribbons; three Good Conduct Medals; two Sea Service Deployment Ribbons; Afghanistan Campaign Medal; Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal; NATO Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; National Defense Service Medal and other awards.
  • Joseph J. Murray: The 26-year-old Marine Raider was from Duval, FL. The active-duty Marine earned three Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals; Combat Action Ribbon; two Marine Corps Good Conduct Medals; two Sea Service Deployment Ribbons; two Afghanistan Campaign Medals; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; National Defense Service Medal and other awards.
  • Collin J. Schaaff: The 22-year-old aircraft ordnance technician was from Pierce, WA. He joined the Marine Corps in 2013 and had yet to deploy. The active-duty Marine had earned a Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; and National Defense Service Medal.
  • Dietrich A. Schmieman: The 26-year-old critical skills operator from Benton, Wash., joined the Marine Corps in 2010. The Marine Raider earned two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals; two Marine Corps Good Conduct Medals; three Sea Service Deployment Ribbons; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation and other awards.
  • Staff Sgt. Joshua M. Snowden: The 31-year-old fixed wing aircraft crew master was from Dallas, TX and joined the Marine Corps in 2004. The active reserve Marine earned the Navy and Marine Corps achievement medal; Air Medal-Strike/Flight; Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal; Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal; Sea Service Deployment Ribbon; two Armed Forces Reserve Medals; Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; three Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medals; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; National Defense Service Medal and others.

Our heartfelt condolences go out to the families of these brave men.

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