3 SoCal Marines killed in Mississippi military plane crash

EMBED </>More Videos

Three U.S. Marines from Southern California were among 15 Marines and one Navy sailor killed in a military plane crash in Mississippi on Monday. (United States Marine Corps)

Three U.S. Marines from Southern California were killed in Monday's military plane crash in Mississippi, the Marines Corps confirmed Friday.

Staff Sgt. Robert H. Cox, 28, with 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, was from Ventura. Capt. Sean E. Elliott, 30, with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 452, was from Orange and Sgt. Chad Jenson, 25, also with 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, was from Los Angeles.

Twelve other U.S. Marines and one Navy sailor were also killed in the Marine Corps KC-130 aircraft that crashed in Leflore County, Mississippi - about 85 miles north of Jackson - around 4 p.m. local time, according to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.

The group, from the Raider unit, was headed from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, to Yuma, Arizona, with guns, ammunition, radios and body armor to participate in training for an eventual deployment somewhere in the Middle East.

The transport plane slammed into soybean fields in the Mississippi Delta. A Marine general said Wednesday the aircraft appears to have developed problems while high in the air.

"Indications are something went wrong at cruise altitude," Brig. Gen. Bradley S. James told reporters Wednesday in Itta Bena, Mississippi. That squares with comments from witnesses interviewed by The Associated Press who said they saw the plane descend from high altitude with an engine smoking.
The Marine Corps said the cause was under investigation and offered no information on whether the plane issued a distress call.

The Marines said the plane was carrying personal weapons and small-arms ammunition - equipment that may have contributed to the explosion and the popping that could be heard as the wreckage burned.

It was the deadliest Marine Corps air disaster since 2005, when a transport helicopter went down during a sandstorm in Iraq, killing 30 Marines and a sailor.

Below are the names of all the Marines and Navy sailor killed in the crash:

Full name: Sean E. Elliott
Pay entry base date: May 4, 2009
Rank and date of rank: Captain/Oct. 1, 2013
Home of record: Orange, California

Full name: Mark A. Hopkins
Pay entry base date: Sept. 4, 2001
Rank and date of rank: Gunnery Sergeant/May 1, 2014
Home of record: Chesapeake, Virginia

Full name: Brendan C. Johnson
Pay entry base date: Sept. 26, 1994
Rank and date of rank: Gunnery Sergeant/April 1, 2010
Home of record: Chittenden, Vermont

Full name: Joshua M. Snowden
Pay entry base date: July 19, 2004
Rank and date of rank: Staff Sergeant/July 10, 2017
Home of record: Dallas, Texas

Full name: Julian M. Kevianne
Pay entry base date: Dec. 1, 2009
Rank and date of rank: Sergeant/April 1, 2015
Home of record: Dallas, Texas

Full name: Owen J. Lennon
Pay entry base date: Oct. 12, 2010
Rank and date of rank: Sergeant/Jan. 1, 2015
Home of record: Rockland, New York

Full name: Daniel I. Baldassare
Pay entry base date: Sept. 14, 2015
Rank and date of rank: Corporal/June 1, 2017
Home of record: Monmouth, New Jersey

Full name: Collin J. Schaaff
Pay entry base date: Aug. 26, 2013
Rank and date of rank: Corporal/Dec. 1, 2015
Home of record: Pierce, Washington

Full name: Robert H. Cox
Pay entry base date: July 23, 2007
Rank and date of rank: Staff Sergeant/Oct. 1, 2016
Home of record: Ventura, California

Full name: William J. Kundrat
Pay entry base date: July 30, 2002
Rank and date of rank: Staff Sergeant/Jan. 1, 2011
Home of record: Frederick, Maryland

Full name: Chad E. Jenson
Pay entry base date: Sept. 13, 2010
Rank and date of rank: Sergeant/Oct. 1, 2014
Home of record: Los Angeles, California

Full name: Talon R. Leach
Pay entry base date: Jan. 5, 2010
Rank and date of rank: Sergeant/Sept. 1, 2013
Home of record: Callaway, Missouri

Full name: Joseph J. Murray
Pay entry base date: Aug. 31, 2009
Rank and date of rank: Sergeant/Aug. 1, 2014
Home of record: Duval, Florida

Full name: Dietrich A. Schmieman
Pay entry base date: Sept. 20, 2010
Rank and date of rank: Sergeant/Jan. 1, 2014
Home of record: Benton, Washington

Full name: Ryan M. Lohrey
Pay entry base date: Sept. 26, 2007
Rank and date of rank: Petty Officer 2nd Class/ Dec. 16, 2012
Home of record: Middletown, IN

Full name: Caine M. Goyette
Pay entry base date: Dec. 5, 1994
Rank and date of rank: Major/Nov. 1, 2012
Present Duty Station: VMGR 452, MAG 49, 4th MAW


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Related Topics:
plane crashmarinesmilitaryu.s. & worldOrangeOrange CountyLos AngelesVenturaVentura County
(Copyright ©2017 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

Load Comments