Bodies of Marines, Sailor Killed in AAV Incident Transported to Dover

August 13, 2020 10:30 AM - Updated: August 14, 2020 7:42 PM
Remains of Marines and sailor killed in AAV incident arrive in Dover Air Force Base, Del., on Aug 12, 2020. US Marine Corps Photo

The Marine Corps on Wednesday transported to Dover Air Force Base the bodies of the seven Marines and one sailor who died during a recent Amphibious Assault Vehicle accident.

The bodies of the servicemembers were transported from Marine Corps Air Station in Miramar, Calif.

“Six pallbearers of Marines and sailors escorted each casket aboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III bound for Dover AFB for final preparation for burial before being released to their families for final arrangements,” the Marine Corps said in a statement.

The following individuals were transported:

  • Pfc. Bryan J. Baltierra, 18, from Corona, Calif.
  • Lance Cpl. Marco A. Barranco, 21, from Montebello, Calif.
  • Pfc. Evan A. Bath, 19, from Oak Creek, Wisconsin
  • Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class (Fleet Marine Force) Christopher Gnem, 22, from Stockton, Calif.
  • Pfc. Jack-Ryan Ostrovsky, 20, from Bend, Ore.
  • Cpl. Wesley A. Rodd, 22, from Harris, Texas
  • Lance Cpl. Chase D. Sweetwood, 18, from Portland, Ore.
  • Cpl. Cesar A. Villanueva, 21, from Riverside, Calif.

Late last week, the Marine Corps said it had salvaged the AAV and the bodies of the eight service members who died when the AAV sank last month in the waters off San Clemente Island after water began pouring into the vehicle.

The release noted that the Navy promoted the sailor, Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class, Fleet Marine Force, Christopher Gnem, upon his death. The service also issued Gnem his Fleet Marine Force Warfare Specialist certification because he, “met the criteria set by the Navy for both before his death.”

The service last week transported to Dover the body of Lance Cpl. Guillermo S. Perez, 19, from New Braunfels, Texas. Perez died from injuries sustained during the accident.

The Marine Corps has halted AAV water operations as a result of the mishap and is conducting an investigation into the accident.

Mallory Shelbourne

Mallory Shelbourne

Mallory Shelbourne is a reporter for USNI News. She previously covered the Navy for Inside Defense and reported on politics for The Hill.
Follow @MalShelbourne

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