The U.S. military announced Thursday morning that the five Marines aboard a helicopter that went missing and was later discovered to have crashed in California earlier this week have been identified.
On its way from Creech Air Force Base in Nevada to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego for a routine training exercise, the helicopter was reportedly overdue, which prompted a search and rescue operation to locate it.
Wednesday, while scouring a snowy mountainous region, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and the Civil Air Patrol discovered the CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter.
The 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing declared hours afterward that every single Marine aboard the helicopter had perished.
The five deceased Marines remained unidentified by the U.S. military in accordance with policy mandating that their identities remain concealed for a period of 24 hours following the notification of all next of kin.
Authorities continued to recover the Marines’ remains and initiate an investigation into the cause of the fatal crash as of Thursday morning.
A month prior to the current incident, six crewmembers of the United States Navy Navy’s MH-60R Seahawk helicopter were rescued from a nearby Navy vessel off the coast of Coronado following a collision into San Diego Bay.