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The 24-year-old Marine killed when his military aircraft crashed during a training exercise in Hawaii has been identified as Lance Cpl. Joshua Barron of Spokane, Washington, military officials said Tuesday.
Barron was among 22 Marines on board the MV-22B Osprey when it made a hard landing on Sunday at Bellows Air Force Station on the island of Oahu. The other Marines were treated for injuries, and four remained hospitalized Monday — including one in critical condition.
Barron, who was based out of Camp Pendleton in Southern California, was remembered by superiors with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit as the "best our nation has to offer." He was a crew chief on the aircraft.
"Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family and the families of all the Marines involved in Sunday's crash," commanding officer Col. Vance Cryer said in a statement, adding, "We appreciate the thoughts, prayers and support we have received as we continue to care for the injured and mourn our fallen Marine."
Barron's mother, Michele Barron, told The Associated Press that people looked up to her son as a "superhero" who loved his family and his country. The young Marine "just wanted to do something more with his life," she added.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation. A fire had broken out while on board the airplane-and-helicopter hybrid, a Pentagon spokesman confirmed Monday, and witnesses said the Osprey was one of three doing maneuvers before the accident around 11:40 a.m. local time.
The Marines involved in the accident had just arrived to Hawaii as part of a seven-month deployment to the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions.
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