By Kay Whatley, Editor
On July 11, 2017, Governor Roy Cooper ordered all United States and North Carolina flags at state facilities to be lowered to half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Wednesday, July 12, 2017, in tribute to the 16 service members who died Monday night in a Marine KC-130 transport aircraft crash.
The aircraft was transporting six Marines and one Navy sailor from the 2d Marine Raider Battalion (2dMRB) based in Camp Lejeune. The names and hometowns of the victims have not been released pending notification of family. The flight originated at an air station in Cherry Point NC.
Governor Cooper issued the following comment:
“Today we learned that among the 16 individuals killed in yesterday’s plane crash in Mississippi, seven were North Carolina Marine Raiders based right here at Camp Lejeune. Our hearts go out to the families of those killed, as well as the Marines they served alongside. Danger and sacrifice are inherent to the jobs carried out by our service members, and this tragedy is a reminder that they serve at home and abroad every minute of every day.
“Kristen and I, along with millions of North Carolinians and Americans, honor the service and sacrifice of these brave individuals and their families.”
The Marine Corps released this information:
The Marine aircraft that crashed Monday evening was a KC-130T from Marine Aerial Refueling and Transport Squadron (VMGR) 452, Marine Air Group-49, 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Forces Reserve. The flight originated from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., as the squadron was supporting a requirement to transport personnel and equipment from there to Naval Air Field El Centro, Calif.
The crew and passengers consisted of 15 Marines and one Navy Corpsman. Equipment on board included various small arms ammunition and personal weapons. An Explosive Ordnance Disposal team is at the scene as a precaution in the interest of safety.
The identities of the personnel whose lives were lost in this tragic accident are still being withheld to allow time for their loved ones to be notified appropriately. While the details of the incident are being investigated, our focus remains on providing the necessary resources and support to the family and friends of these service members as they go through this extremely difficult time.
Ed. Note: When are flags flown at half-staff? (Link) Updated: July 12, 2017 photos added.