The lone survivor in a deadly Dec. 6 midair collision of two Marine Corps aircraft off the Japanese coast has been released from the hospital, Marine officials confirmed Monday evening.
In all, six Marines were killed in the tragic air mishap between an F/A-18 and KC-130J.
Two Marines were found during a massive search and rescue effort on the first day of accident — both from the crashed Hornet — but only one survived.
Capt. Jahmar F. Resilard, a Hornet pilot with Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242, was declared deceased on Friday.
Search and rescue operations by Japanese, U.S. and Australian forces continued for days for the remaining five Marines in the missing KC-130J assigned to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152.
After combing more than 35,000 square miles of ocean, Lt. Gen. Eric M. Smith, the commander of III Marine Expeditionary Force, called off the search operation on Tuesday.
“I have made the determination to end the search and rescue operations for the crew of our KC-130J aircraft which was involved in a mishap off the southern coast of Japan and to declare that these Marine warriors are deceased,” Smith said in a command release.
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“Every possible effort was made to recover our crew and I hope the families of these selfless Americans will find comfort in the incredible efforts made by US, Japanese, and Australian forces during the search,” he said.
Flight data and cockpit voice recorders have yet to be recovered from the KC-130J, the Corps said in a statement.
“Every member of the III MEF family mourns this loss and stands alongside the families of the fallen in this terrible moment,” Smith said.