Five marines on board missing military helicopter confirmed dead after crashing amid California mega-storm

Five marines on board missing military helicopter confirmed dead after crashing amid California mega-storm

WATCH NOW: Cal Fire continue their search and rescue efforts

GB News
Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop

Published: 08/02/2024

- 15:08

Updated: 08/02/2024

- 15:51

President Joe Biden has mourned the loss of the troops

The five marines who went missing after their helicopter crashed during a storm have been confirmed as dead, a commanding general said.

They were reported missing after their helicopter, a CH-35E ‘Super Stallion’, was “reported overdue”.

In a statement released today, the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing confirmed the troops were deceased.

Maj. Gen. Michael Borgschulte added: “To the families of our fallen Marines, we send our deepest condolences and commit to ensuring your support and care during this incredibly difficult time.

CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter

The five marines onboard the 'Super Stallion' have now been confirmed as dead


“These pilots and crewmembers were serving a calling greater than self and were proud to do so. We will forever be grateful for their call to duty and selfless service,” he continued.

The names of the dead are yet to be released, as their next of kin need to be informed first.

The “Super Stallion” left Creech Air Force Base in Nevada for Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, near San Diego, on Tuesday night but never landed.

California Fire San Diego spokesperson Mike Cornette said the aircraft’s last ping was recorded at 11.20 pm on Tuesday night.

The Marines were in contact with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office in a coordinated search operation, which was launched at 1.50am on Wednesday morning.


An airbase from aboveMarine Corps Air Station Miramar, where the helicopter was headed before crashing on Tuesday nightWikimedia Commons

They asked for help from Civil Air Patrol to find the craft.

Storms meant the police helicopter couldn’t reach the area where the Super Stallion was last reported, with the sheriff’s office forced to send off-road vehicles to scour the terrain instead.

The next morning, the helicopter was found at 9.08 am PST in Pine Valley, however, the Marines were nowhere to be seen.

Joe Biden has mourned the deaths of the Marines, extending his “deepest condolences to their families, their squadron, and the U.S. Marine Corps as we grieve the loss of five of our nation’s finest warriors.”

A helicopter

The CH-35E ‘Super Stallion’ crashed en route to California

Matti Blume/Wikimedia Commons

He added: “Our service members represent the very best of our nation – and these five Marines were no exception.”

Cornette said that search efforts to find the helicopter had been curtailed by low visibility, due to a fast-moving storm moving through the region.

The helicopter’s disappearance comes just over two months after a US Air Force Osprey aircraft crashed off the coast of Japan, killing all eight of its crew members.

Five US servicemen also died after their plane crashed during a routine training mission in the Mediterranean Sea in November 2023.

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