Unit HomeNewsPress Releases
III Marine Expeditionary Force


III Marine Expeditionary Force

Communication Strategy and Operations

Okinawa, Japan
Press Releases
Media Release #17-018: Dignified transfer of recovered Marines

August 25, 2017


CAMP COURTNEY, OKINAWA, Japan – The remains of Capt. Benjamin R. Cross, Cpl. Nathaniel F. Ordway and Lance Cpl. Ruben P. Velasco, who died in an MV-22B Osprey mishap off the coast of Australia, August 5, have been recovered.

Ordway and Velasco have been transferred to Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, before returning home. Capt. Cross’ remains, which were recently recovered, will be moved to Hickam Air Force Base as expediently as possible.  From Hickam, fallen service members are prepared for transport to their final destination as determined by the families.  A solemn, dignified transfer of remains continues to be the priority as our fallen Marines are returned to their families. 


We are extremely grateful for the assistance of the Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS MELVILLE and Clearance Diver Team One which initially responded for recovery efforts, followed by the USNS SALVOR (T-ARS-52) and Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) ONE which is continuing salvage operations.

We ask that you keep the families and friends of these Marines in your thoughts and prayers, and respect their privacy during this difficult time.

Please direct all media queries to III MEF Public Affairs office at IIIMEFPAO@usmc.mil.

NOTE: Capt. Cross and Lance Cpl. Velasco were posthumously promoted to their current rank.

31st Marine Expeditionary Unit 1st Lt. Joseph Butterfield