Press Releases

Media Release #17-018: Dignified transfer of recovered Marines
25 Aug 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

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

1st Lt. Joseph Butterfield

31st Marine Expeditionary Unit

Facebook Twitter

-12 Apr
"I wouldn't change a thing." Chief P.O. Ophael Myrtle tells his story of immigration to the United States from his native country of Haiti. As an infant, Myrtil lost 24 family members in a fatal bus accident. Myrtil is now a 17-year veteran of the U.S. Navy and is the lead chief petty officer with 1st MAW. Read more: (U.S. Marine Corps video by Lance Cpl. Alexia Lythos)

-11 Apr
Landing Together Marines with 3d Reconnaissance Battalion, describe the feeling of High Altitude High Opening parachute jumps before and after the fall. (U.S. Marine Corps video by Cpl. Charles Plouffe)

-10 Apr
Pay What You Owe! Marines go through the culminating event of an intense Martial Arts Instructor Course.

-09 Apr
Here's a little Monday motivation from our 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit Recon brothers.

-07 Apr
1ST MAW MARINE SAVES HUNDREDS OF LIVES 🇺🇸 Cpl. Kodiak McBrayer, a cryogenics equipment operator with Marine Wing Liaison Kadena, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, discovered a fault that would ignite change within the Marine Corps and Navy forever.
Today is Okinawa Memorial Day, a day to remember those who lost their lives during the Battle of Okinawa. It is a t…
RT @DeptofDefense: Back together with the mates. @MrfDarwin Marines arrive at Nhulunbuy, Australia 🇦🇺 to kick off exercise Darrandarra to…
RT @USNavy: Three platforms, one ship! 💪 USS America (LHA 6) conducts flight deck operations with @31stMeu. America s operating in the @U
RT @PacificMarines: Simulated fire missions allow HIMARS crews to gain valuable training in providing rapid and precise fires, while enhanc…
RT @PacificMarines: @USMC with @31stMEU simulate a #HIMARS insert and fire mission at White Beach, #Okinawa, #Japan.
Follow Us