8 Service Members Presumed Dead in Marine Training Exercise. Here are Their Names

One additional Marine had already been pronounced dead at the scene: Lance Cpl. Guillermo S. Perez, of New Braunfels, Texas.

The POW/MIA flag is raised alongside the American flag aboard the USS Kearsarge for Vietnam Veterans Remembrance Day, March 29, 2019.

By Published on August 3, 2020

The U.S. Marine Corps released the names of eight service members Monday who are presumed dead after an amphibious vehicle accident off the coast of California.

The seven missing Marines were identified Monday as Pfc. Bryan J. Baltierra, Lance Cpl. Marco A. Barranaco, Pfc. Evan A. Bath, Pfc. Jack Ryan Ostrovsky, Cpl. Wesley A. Rodd, Lance Cpl. Chase D. Sweetwood and Cpl. Ceasar A. Villaneuva, according to a Marine Corps statement, Fox News reported. The Naval service member onboard, Hospitalman Christopher Gnem, is also presumed dead, Fox reported.

“It is with a heavy heart that I decided to conclude the search and rescue effort,” said Col. Christopher Bronzi, commander of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, the Associated Press reported.

An amphibious vehicle ship sank Thursday evening off the coast of San Clemente Island with 15 Marines and one Navy service member on board, The Associated Press reported. Eight Marines were rescued, but one died and two are in critical condition, according to the AP.

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One Marine in critical condition is now in stable condition, the U.S. Marine Corps said in a Twitter post Monday.

The ship was returning from a training exercise along with a dozen more amphibious assault vehicles, Lt. Gen. Joseph Osterman said, the AP reported.

The Marines onboard the sinking vehicle were based in Camp Pendleton as part of the 15th Expeditionary Unit, the AP reported. The Marines use the amphibious vehicle, or “amtrac,” short for amphibious tractor, to transfer troops and equipment from the Naval ships to land. The accident is considered one of the deadliest in the vehicle’s history of exercises at Camp Pendleton, the AP reported.

The Department of Defense referred the Daily Caller News Foundation to the I Marine Expeditionary Force, which did not respond immediately to requests for comment.

 

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