Tom Wilson, Sr., Commandant of the Nighthawk 72 Marana Detachment #1344 Marine Corps League, announced today that there will be a Memorial Service at the Marana Regional Airport on Saturday, April 6, 2018 at 10:00AM to honor the 19 U.S. Marines that were tragically killed in an MV-22 Osprey Tilt rotor aircraft accident at the Airport on April 8, 2000.
The ceremony will include posting of colors by the Marine Corps; wreath laying by various organizations; guest speakers Honorable Mayor Honea, Department of Arizona Marine Corps League Commandant John Rodriguez, and Cpl Joshua Hanson, 3rd Battalion 5th Marines 0331 Machine Gunner; rifle salute, taps, bagpiper and vocalist Amanda Sinner.
A special missing man formation flyover provided by the Scorpion Squadron of the West Coast Ravens Formation Team.
The event is free and open to the public.
March 16, 2019 the roadside memorial was moved slightly northeast and a parking area was created. The new area is more suitable for the ceremony.
Additional Background Information The MV-22 Osprey Tilt rotor aircraft was conducting a training mission in support of Operational Evaluation (OPEVAL) when it went down at the Marana Regional Airport in Marana, Arizona on April 8, 2000. During the mission, the crew and Marines conducted Non-combatant Evacuation Operations (NEO) exercises as part of the Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course, with Marines embarking and disembarking the aircraft. The mission was conducted at night utilizing night vision goggles and forward looking infrared radar to enhance night operational capability. This mishap aircraft was part of the Multiservice Operational Test Team, based at Patuxent River, Maryland, but was temporarily attached to Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron-1 at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona.
The 19 Marines Lost were as follows:
3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division
Sgt. Jose Alvarez, 28
Pfc. Gabriel C. Clevenger, 21 Pfc. Alfred Corona, 23
Lance Cpl. Jason T. Duke, 28
Lance Cpl. Jesus Gonzalez Sanchez, 27
Lance Cpl. Seth G. Jones, 18
2nd Lt. Clayton J. Kennedy, 24
Lance Cpl. Jorge A. Morin, 21
Cpl. Adam C. Neely, 22
Pfc. Kenneth O. Paddio, 23
Pfc. George P. Santos, 24
Lance Cpl. Keoki P. Santos, 24
Cpl. Can Soler, 21
Pvt. Adam L. Tatro, 19
Marine Wing Communications Squadron 38, Marine Air Control Group 38
Cpl. Eric J. Martinez, 21
Marine Helicopter Squadron 1
Maj. John A. Brow, 39
Maj. Brooks S. Gruber, 34
Cpl. Kelly S. Keith, 22
Marine Tilt-Rotor Training Squadron 204
Staff Sgt. William B. Nelson, 30