Marine pilot from South Florida killed in fighter jet-tanker collision off Japan coast
By COREY DICKSTEIN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: December 7, 2018
WASHINGTON — A 28-year-old Marine Corps pilot from south Florida was killed after his F/A-18 Hornet fighter collided with a refueling plane during training Thursday off the coast of Japan, an accident from which five Marines remain missing, service officials said.
Capt. Jahmar F. Resilard died in the Hornet collision with the KC-130 Hercules aerial tanker just before 2 a.m. local time, the Marine Corps announced Friday. Another unnamed pilot in the fighter jet was rescued alongside Resilard’s body in the hours after the crash. That pilot was in stable condition, officials said.
Search and rescue efforts for the five missing Marines – the crew of the KC-130 – were ongoing Friday, according to the Marine Corps. An investigation into the cause of the collision was also ongoing Friday. Marine officials did not say if investigators had determined what led to the midair crash.
Resilard was from Miramar, Florida, just north of Miami, and was stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in Yamaguchi, Japan with the Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242.
The fallen pilot’s commander described him as “warm and charismatic” in a statement that noted his unit was thinking of Resilard’s family and friends.
"He was an effective and dedicated leader who cared for his Marines and fellow fighter pilots with passion,” Lt. Col. James Compton, the squadron’s commander, said in the statement. “We will miss him terribly. We honor his service and his contribution to the Marine Corps and our great nation.”
The Marine Corps did not immediately make Resilard’s service records available Friday. A post on his personal Facebook page shows he had served in the Corps since at least 2012.
He graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 2012 with a degree in homeland security, according to a university spokesperson.
The Marines did say Resilard’s decorations included the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, which indicates he had served or supported a combat mission.
Stars and Stripes reporter Caitlin M. Kenney contributed to this story.