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21 years later: Marines killed in crash honored in Marana

19 Marines honored 21 years later.jpg
Posted at 2:04 PM, Apr 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-11 17:04:23-04

MARANA, Ariz. (KGUN) — More than two decades after 19 Marines lost their lives during a training mission, dozens gathered at the site of the crash in Marana to remember them.

“Nineteen Marines in an Osprey aircraft died here preparing to do missions to keep us safe,” said Mayor Ed Honea for Town of Marana.

It was one of the worst tragedies to hit southern Arizona 21 years ago.

The 19 Marines were killed in a crash on an MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft when it crashed at the Marana Regional Airport.

Each of their names was called during a memorial service to honor them.

Their ultimate sacrifice still lives on through veterans who served alongside the 19 servicemen.

“I was at the command post in Gila Bend and was unfortunate enough be up on the common net to hear tactic air commander airborne yell out ‘Oh my gosh, they crashed. Aircraft down! Aircraft down!'," recalled Dan Sprinkle.

Josh Hanson said he served alongside the Marines who were on the flight and has attended the memorial service over the years.

“I remember the first trip coming down here. It was one of the hardest trips I ever made,” he said.

However, he’s grateful to know his brothers are still honored today.

“It’s amazing to see the show of appreciation,” said Hanson.