Wreckage of crashed USMC helicopter found in Australia

By Ed Adamczyk Contact the Author   |   Aug. 7, 2017 at 8:09 AM
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Aug. 7 (UPI) -- The wreckage of a U.S. Marine Corps helicopter lost during a training mission off the Australian coast last week has been located, authorities said Monday.

The MV-22 Osprey helicopter crashed off Australia's east coast on Saturday. Twenty-three Marines aboard were rescued but three remain missing. The aircraft was found in Shoalwater Bay, off Queensland state.

"Shortly after commencing survey operations in the area, the submerged aircraft was located," a statement from Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne said Monday. It added that Navy divers are assisting with the U.S.-led recovery efforts.

The USMC chopper was launched from the USS Bonhomme Rischard, an amphibious assault ship, on Saturday. It struck the deck of the USS Green Bay, an amphibious transport ship, and fell into the water.

A search by U.S. military aircraft and boats for the missing men was called off later the same day.

The Marine Corps referred to the incident as a "mishap" and identified two of the missing soldiers as Lt. Benjamin Cross and Crew Chief Nathan Ordway.

The joint military exercise involved more than 30,000 U.S. and Australian personnel, the Australian Defense Department said.

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