5 Marines Who Died in Southern California Osprey Crash Identified
The 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing has identified the five Marines who died in an MV-22B Osprey crash Wednesday, June 8, in the desert of Southern California, though the cause of the crash remains under investigation.
The Osprey crashed around 12:25 p.m. Wednesday near Glamis, an unincorporated community in the far southeastern corner of California, about 20 miles from the Mexican border and 23 miles from Nevada. The five Marines on board the tiltrotor aircraft were participating in a training mission, according to a spokesperson from the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. The wing has released few details about the crash, other than to say that the cause is under investigation.
All five Marines on board the Osprey were assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor (VMM) Squadron 364, Marine Aircraft Group 39, and were based out of Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, according to a statement released Friday night by the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. The statement identified the Marines as:
- Capt. John J. Sax, 33, of Placer, California, an MV-22B pilot.
- Capt. Nicholas P. Losapio, 31, of New Durham, New Hampshire, an MV-22B pilot.
- Cpl. Nathan E. Carlson, 21, of Winnebago, Illinois, a tiltrotor crew chief.
- Cpl. Seth D. Rasmuson, 21, of Johnson, Wyoming, a tiltrotor crew chief.
- Lance Cpl. Evan A. Strickland, 19, of Valencia, New Mexico, a tiltrotor crew chief.
“It is with heavy hearts that we mourn the loss of five Marines from the Purple Fox family,” Lt. Col. John C. Miller, commanding officer of VMM-364, said in the press release. “This is an extremely difficult time for VMM-364 and it is hard to express the impact that this loss has had on our squadron and its families.”
The Osprey crash was the deadliest of three military aircraft mishaps in Southern California during a weeklong period. Navy pilot Lt. Richard Bullock died June 3 when his F/A-18 Super Hornet crashed during a routine training flight over the desert near Trona, California. Around 6 p.m. Thursday, a Navy MH-60S Seahawk crashed during a routine training flight near El Centro, California. All four aircrew members on board survived, according to a Navy release. One person was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Editor’s note: Capt. Nicholas P. Losapio’s hometown has been changed to New Durham, New Hampshire, after the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing received a request from Losapio’s family.