Several service members killed in Monday’s deadly plane crash outside of Itta Bena, Mississippi were based out of the Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh. The plane crashed in Leflore County, Mississippi in a soybean field around 4 p.m. last Monday.
Of those killed, nine were marines stationed out of Stewart ANG. The remaining five marines and one navy corpsman were based out of North Carolina’s Camp Lejeune.
While no official confirmation of the deceased has been issued, families of the lost soldiers have confirmed several of their identities. Rockland County resident Owen Lennon, 26; Staff Sgt. Joshua Snowden, 31 of Dallas, TX; and Marine Sgt. Julian Kevianne, 31 were all stationed in Newburgh.
“This loss is simply devastating,” said U.S. Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18), whose district includes the airbase.
“Over the years I have had the privilege of getting to know many of the brave men and women who serve in our armed forces, especially those at Stewart — they are truly American heroes. These folks risk their lives in service of our country and to lose them in such a way is tragic. My prayers are with the Navy Corpsman and the Marines who lost their lives, their loved ones and our entire community — we lost some of our best yesterday. Semper fi.”
County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus added in a press release:
“Orange County mourns the loss of the Marines and the sailor whose lives have been tragically cut short. Members of the military put their lives on the line every day and this accident underscores the dangers and risks that they face. The service members that were lost are true heroes, and we extend our deepest condolences to their families.”
The plane, a KC-130, was used for refueling aircraft in-flight and for transportation of cargo and troops. The flight originated out of the Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point, North Carolina. It was transporting personnel and equipment to the Naval Air Field in El Centro, California, with a scheduled stop in Yuma, Arizona. According to Marine Captain John Roberts, stated the plane was under the command of the 4th Marine Air Wing in New Orleans at the time of the accident.
As of Wednesday, marine officials believe that the crash might have resulted from engine trouble.
“Indications are something went wrong at cruise altitude,” Brig. Gen. Bradley S. James said near the crash site, Wednesday.
Witnesses stated they saw the plane come crashing down, with bodies being found more than a mile away from the crash site.
Marine officials are conducting work where the crash took place, but have been cautious of both the flames and the possibility of explosive ordnance.