Military officials have identified the service members who were on board the U.S. Air Force CV-22 Osprey that crashed last week off the shore of Yakushima Island, Japan.
An Air Force spokesperson said after days of “intensive, 24/7 search and rescue operations” for the eight Airmen involved in the crash on Nov. 29, that the U.S. military transitioned “search and rescue operations” to “search and recovery operations.” This transition happens when the determination is made that finding survivors is unlikely.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, friends and peers of all who are impacted by this mishap and loss of life,” said Lt. Gen. Tony Bauernfeind, Air Force Special Operations Command commander. “In times like these, where service to our nation is not just a personal commitment but also a legacy woven into the fabric of our families, the depth of sorrow is immeasurable. The honorable service of these eight Airmen to this great Nation will never be forgotten, as they are now among the giants who shape our history.”
One body, ultimately identified as Staff Sgt. Jake Galliher, of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, was recovered on Nov. 29, 2023, but the identities and statuses of the seven remaining Airmen were not known. On Tuesday, the Air Force officially changed their status from duty status-whereabouts unknown to deceased status. Their families were notified.
The deceased were then identified as:
On Sunday, U.S. and Japanese military divers recovered some crew members’ remains and wreckage from the crash.
The continued recovery operation will focus on “locating and recovering all remains and aircraft debris.”
Of the eight Airmen on the tilt-rotor aircraft at the time of the crash, the remains of three airmen have been recovered. The remains of three additional airmen have been located, and they are in the process of being recovered. The remains of two airmen have not yet been located.
Personnel and assets across five military branches alongside our Japanese allies supported the search and rescue operations and will continue to support recovery operations. These include the Japanese coast guard, Japan self-defense forces, United States Pacific Air Forces, United States Pacific Fleet, United States Marine Corps Forces, Pacific; Special Operations Command – Pacific; the 353rd Special Operations Wing, Kadena Air Base, Japan; 18th Wing, Kadena Air Base, Japan, and the 1st Special Forces Group.
“On behalf of all of the joint U.S. teammates actively involved in the search, we want to extend our sincere gratitude to the Government of Japan’s Self Defense Force, Coast Guard, law enforcement, mariners, and local Yakushima civilian volunteers for their tireless assistance in the search and rescue operations for our Airmen,” said Rear Adm. Jeromy Williams, Special Operations Command – Pacific commander. “Their selfless dedication in our time of need demonstrates the ironclad bond between our nations. We are resolved to locating our aircrew and bringing them home to their families.”
Family members of those impacted by the crash are encouraged to contact the Emergency Family Assistance Cell at email@example.com or 850-884-4494.
Fox News’ Ashley Cozzolino contributed to this report.