Marine Corps recovers remains of Surprise Marine, 2 others killed 2018 aviation accident

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The remains of Staff Sgt. Maximo A. Flores, 27, of Surprise, who was killed in December 2018, after a Marine Corps KC-130 refueling tanker and an F/A-18 fighter jet collided during a training operation, have been recovered.

According to officials, the remains of Staff Sgt. Flores, Lt. Col. Kevin R. Herrmann, 38, of New Bern, North Carolina; and Maj. James M. Brophy, 36, of Staatsburg, New York, were recovered and will be released to their families in accordance with their wishes.

“Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families and all those who loved our fallen Warriors,” Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Thomas D. Weidley, former commanding general of 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, said in a statement. “I am extremely grateful for the professionalism, dedication, and support of those who brought our Marines home.”

The salvage effort that took place from May 27 to June 7, 2019 additionally resulted in the recovery of the KC-130J cockpit voice recorder and the digital flight recorder. The remains of Cpl. Daniel E. Baker, 21, of Tremont, Illinois and of Cpl. William C. Ross, 21, of Hendersonville, Tennessee were not recovered.

The cause of the aircraft mishap remains under investigation.

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