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Remains of service members killed in Corps AAV accident transferred to Dover

The remains of seven Marines and a sailor who died July 30 in a California amphibious assault vehicle accident were transferred Wednesday to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, the Marine Corps said.

The eight service members were missing after their AAV went down after a training exercise off San Clemente Island, California. The sunken AAV was found Aug. 4, and recovered Aug. 7 with the remains of the eight missing service members inside.

In Miramar, California, six pallbearers escorted each service member aboard an Air Force C-17 Globemaster III for the journey to Delaware to be released to their families for final arrangements, according to a Wednesday press release.

The Marine Corps asks that “the privacy of the families be respected as they make final arrangements for their loved ones.”

Transferred were:

–Pfc. Bryan J. Baltierra, 18, of Corona, California.

–Lance Cpl. Marco A. Barranco, 21, of Montebello, California.

–Pfc. Evan A. Bath, 19, of Oak Creek, Wisconsin.

–Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class (Fleet Marine Force) Christopher Gnem, 22, of Stockton, California.

–Pfc. Jack-Ryan Ostrovsky, 20, of Bend, Oregon.

–Cpl. Wesley A. Rodd, 22, of Harris, Texas.

–Lance Cpl. Chase D. Sweetwood, 18, of Portland, Oregon.

–Cpl. Cesar A. Villanueva, 21, of Riverside, California.

Six pallbearers escorted each service member aboard an Air Force C-17 Globemaster III for the journey to Delaware to be released to their families for final arrangements. (Marine Corps)
Six pallbearers escorted each service member aboard an Air Force C-17 Globemaster III for the journey to Delaware to be released to their families for final arrangements. (Marine Corps)

The remains of Lance Cpl. Guillermo S. Perez, 19, of New Braunfels, Texas, who escaped the sinking vehicle but was pronounced dead at the scene, were transferred to Dover Aug. 5, according to the Marine Corps.

Gnem was posthumously advanced to the rank of petty officer third class and awarded his enlisted Fleet Marine Force Warfare Specialist qualification, according to the press release, as he met the Navy’s criteria before his death.

Andrea Scott is the editor of Marine Corps Times. On Twitter: @_andreascott.

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