Fallen Marines to be honored with missing-man formation flight over MCAS Iwakuni
By JOSEPH DITZLER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: December 11, 2018
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — F/A-18 Hornets will conduct a single-pass, missing-man formation Wednesday morning over Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni as part of a private memorial service for Marines lost in a midair collision last week.
The tradition, which a Marine Corps statement said was adopted from the British in 1938, involves a flight of several aircraft with one pitching skyward as the formation passes overhead, leaving a space in the formation to represent the fallen aviators.
“We mournfully ask for the community’s support and understanding at this difficult time,” said a statement issued Tuesday afternoon by the air station.
The Marine Corps on Tuesday ended a search for five Marines missing after their KC-130J Hercules collided midair with an F/A-18 Hornet early Thursday off Japan’s southern coast.
Another Marine, Capt. Jahmar Resilard, 28, a crewman in the Hornet, was pronounced dead after being found just after noon Thursday. The second Hornet crew member survived the crash, was rescued that day and was recently released from a hospital.
The Hercules crew is presumed dead, according to a post by III Marine Expeditionary Force commander Lt. Gen. Eric Smith on the III MEF Facebook page.