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Bodies of 3 US Marines killed in Australian aircraft crash retrieved from crash site

Australia US Aircraft Crash
Posted at 9:11 AM, Aug 31, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-31 11:11:01-04

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The bodies of three U.S. Marines killed in a tiltrotor aircraft crash during a training exercise in Australia have been retrieved from the crash scene.

They were from Illinois, Virginia and Colorado.

'A man of valor, character and faith': Family remembers Marine from Jefferson County killed in Australia crash

The V-22B Osprey with 23 Marines on board crashed Sunday in tropical forest on Melville Island while taking part in a drill that includes the militaries of Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines and East Timor.

U.S. Marine Corps Major Tobin J. Lewis, 37, of Colorado, was one of three people who died in the crash. The other two individuals were 29-year-old Osprey pilot Capt. Eleanor V. Beau, of Illinois, and 21-year-old Cpl. Spencer R. Collart, of Virginia. A verified GoFundMe is helping the three families.

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Local News

Family remembers US Marine from Jefferson County killed in Australia crash

Brandon Richard
4:56 PM, Aug 29, 2023

Lewis was born and raised in Conifer. He studied aviation at Liberty University before he joined the U.S. Marines in August 2008. He was then promoted to the rank of major in October of 2018. Lewis received two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and four Sea Service Deployment Ribbons.

“He was a man of valor and character. He was a man of faith,” said Kathy Lewis, the major's mother.

“He loved and served God," she continued. "He loved and served his family. He loved and served his country, and he gave his life for his men. I think that really sums up who he was."

The Marines say three of the injured survivors remained in the hospital Tuesday, with one in critical condition.

The U.S. has based up to 2,500 Marines in the Australian city of Darwin for six months a year since 2012.

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