US Marines killed in Australian Osprey crash identified

SAN DIEGO — Three US Marines killed in an Osprey plane crash in Australia over the weekend were identified on Monday.

They were Cpl. Spencer R. Collart, 21, of Arlington, Virginia; Capt. Eleanor V. LeBeau, 29, of Belleville, Illinois; and Maj. Tobin J. Lewis, 37, of Jefferson, Colo., said their unit, Marine Rotational Force-Darwin, in a statement.

Collart was Osprey Squadron’s crew chief, LeBeau was its pilot, and Lewis was its senior officer, the force said. All stationed at Marine Corps Base Hawaii on Oahu are Distinguished Marines who have been awarded the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, it said.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of three respected and loved members of the MRF-D family,” Col. Brendan Sullivan, commander of Marine Rotational Force-Darwin, said in the statement.

An MV-22B Osprey prepares to land on USS America off Brisbane, Australia June 20 Darren England/AAP Image via AP

Police said three other Marines injured in Sunday’s Melville Island crash remain in the care of the Royal Darwin Hospital in Darwin, about 60 miles south of the crash site.

One of the three was described as being in critical condition; The other two had stabilized and are recovering, the Darwin unit said. Seventeen Marines injured in the crash have been discharged from Darwin Hospital.

The Osprey, with 23 Marines on board, crashed “during a troop transport during a routine exercise,” the Marine Corps said in a statement Sunday.

Led from Camp Pendleton in San Diego County and recruited largely there, the 2,000-strong Darwin Force is in its twelfth year participating in exercises in Australia, publicizing the US presence in a region also influenced by China becomes.

His Osprey squadron participated in the Exercise Predators Run, a 12-day joint training mission involving the United States, Australia, the Philippines, East Timor and Indonesia.


Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese called the crash a “tragic incident” over the weekend.

Following the crash of an Osprey tiltrotor aircraft in the California desert last year that killed five Marines, the Navy imposed a temporary “safety pause” on all aircraft under its command, including non-deployed Marine Corps aircraft.

According to the publication Task & Purpose, there have been multiple accidents involving ospreys that have killed more than 50 people. They can take off and land almost vertically like helicopters, while they can fly along horizontal lines like airplanes.


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Amanda Walker

Global events enthusiast. Reporting with a critical lens to offer readers a deeper perspective.

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