Eight Dead in the US Air Force Crash Near Japan

(NewsSpace.com) – As part of military readiness, all branches carry out routine operations and training. Sadly, sometimes, these training missions go horribly wrong. Such was the case recently when an Osprey aircraft carrying a crew of eight airmen went down off the coast of Japan. Sadly, all onboard are considered to be deceased.

The Air Force was carrying out a routine training operation when a CV-22B Osprey went into the waters off Yakushima on November 29. Two days later, during search-and-rescue missions, officials recovered the body of 24-year-old Staff Sgt. Jacob Galliher. It took several days to locate the others, though not all bodies have been found. The Air Force Special Operations Command issued a press release naming the other airmen who had passed away. They are:

  • Maj. Jeffrey T. Hoernemann (32)
  • Maj. Luke A. Unrath (34)
  • Maj. Eric V. Spendlove (36)
  • Sgt. Zachary E. Lavoy (33)
  • Senior Airman Brian K. Johnson (32)
  • Capt. Terrell K. Brayman (32)
  • Staff Sgt. Jake M. Turnage (25)

On December 7, the command released an update on the situation, stating that they had recovered the bodies of six of the eight who died. Hoernemann and Spendlove are still missing.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin also released a statement following the loss, saying he was “deeply saddened” by the tragic incident and that his heart “goes out to those who were serving alongside these brave men and women” in the Asian country.

The cause of the crash is still ongoing, but in recent years, there have been many incidents involving Osprey aircraft. There have been notable issues with the clutch, where it undergoes hard engagements, where it temporarily slips but then re-engages, which can cause the aircraft to lurch. Ospreys are coveted because of their ability to do vertical takeoffs and landings like a helicopter, but they also fly and can gain speed like a plane. Following the recent incident, Japan grounded its Osprey fleet.

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