MV-22 Osprey Goes Down Off Australian Coast, 3 Personnel Missing

Kristopher Drake
August 8, 2017

"It's been a rough couple of days", said Robert Cross, father of 1 Lt. Benjamin Cross, who said his 26-year-old son was a skilled and dedicated pilot.

The service has said that the cause of the crash is under investigation.

Marine base Camp Butler in Japan said in a statement the rescue operation was suspended on Sunday morning.

The Pentagon has not yet identified the third missing Marine.

The HMAS Melville arrived in Shoalwater Bay, near Rockhampton, overnight to join a recovery operation after the tilt-rotor MV-22 Osprey plunged into the sea during a scheduled military exercise on Saturday.

The US Marine Corps said they were investigating the accident.

The location of the aircraft was found yesterday by the hydrographic survey vessel HMAS Melville, he said.

The Osprey, which belonged to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265, the air combat element of the deployed 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, crashed Saturday around 4 p.m. local time after launching from the amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard during the course of routine operations.

The aircraft was in Australia for a joint military training exercise held by the US and Australia last month in Shoalwater Bay.

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) was supporting the US-led recovery operation.

The hybrid aircraft, which is created to fly like an airplane but take off and land like a helicopter, entered service with the Marine Corps in 2007. Four high-profile crashes during its development phase from 1991 to 2000 killed 30 people. The Osprey was part of a U.S.

United States military forces have been operating in the area as part of a joint training exercise called Talisman Sabre. The Osprey deployments, along with other USA military investments, "are specifically for the defense of Japan" and other American allies in the Pacific, he added.

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