United States

5 Missing U.S. Marines Confirmed Dead After Helicopter Crash In Southern California

The U.S. Marine Corps confirms the deaths of the five missing Marines after a helicopter crash during a training flight in Southern California. President Biden and military officials express profound sorrow over the loss of these dedicated service members.

K.C. Alfred/AP
5 Marines Missing After Helicopter Crash Confirmed Dead Photo: K.C. Alfred/AP

The U.S. Marine Corps confirmed on Thursday that five Marines previously reported missing have tragically been declared dead, following a helicopter crash during a training flight, more than 24 hours after the incident.

The Marines were declared missing after their CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter was "reported overdue" to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar on Tuesday night. The helicopter had departed from Creech Air Force Base near Las Vegas and was heading towards Miramar, located in the San Diego area.

The Marines announced that the helicopter was located at 9:08 a.m. on Wednesday.

In a statement, Major General Michael Borgschulte, commander of the Third Marine Aircraft Wing said, "It is with a heavy heart and profound sadness that I share the loss of five outstanding Marines from 3d Marine Aircraft Wing and the 'Flying Tigers' while conducting a training flight."

The Marine Corps stated that efforts to retrieve the remains of the crash victims have begun, and an investigation is currently in progress.

President Joe Biden expressed being "heartbroken" over the loss of the service members.

"We extend our deepest condolences to their families, their squadron, and the US Marine Corps as we grieve the loss of five of our nation's finest warriors," the president said in a statement.

"Today, as we mourn this profound loss, we honor their selfless service and ultimate sacrifice -- and reaffirm the sacred obligation we bear to all those who wear the uniform and their families."