5 Marines Confirmed Dead After Helicopter Crash In California

The five U.S. Marines aboard a helicopter traveling from Nevada to California were confirmed dead on Thursday.

Local first responders found the helicopter after hours of searching on Wednesday, but the crew was not found until Thursday morning.

“It is with a heavy heart and profound sadness that I share the loss of five outstanding Marines from the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing and the ‘Flying Tigers’ while conducting a training flight last night,” Maj. Gen. Borgschulte, Commanding General for the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, said in a statement.

“These pilots and crew members were serving a calling greater than self and were proud to do so. We will forever be grateful for their call to duty and selfless service. To the families of our fallen Marines, we send our deepest condolences and commit to ensuring your support and care during this incredibly difficult time.”

The five Marines were involved in a training flight on a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter from Creech Air Force base near Las Vegas to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego. They were reported missing when the helicopter was “reported overdue” before reaching its destination Tuesday night.

According to CNN: “Winds were gusting up to 20 mph Tuesday evening near Pine Valley, and they likely were stronger at higher elevations. Radar indicates a heavy band of precipitation swept through the area between 10 p.m. Tuesday and 4 a.m. Wednesday.”

The helicopter was found in Pine Valley where the storm took place.

“Jill and I are heartbroken at the loss of five U.S. Marines, whose aircraft crashed while flying from Nevada to California during a routine training mission. As the Department of Defense continues to assess what occurred, we extend our deepest condolences to their families, their squadron, and the U.S. Marine Corps,” President Biden said.

According to Fox News, “The incident comes roughly two months after a U.S. Air Force Osprey crashed off the coast of Japan in December. All eight crew members aboard the craft were killed in the incident.” Another Osprey crashed in August 2023 with 20 injuries and three fatalities.