The remains of 27-year-old Marine Staff Sgt. Maximo A. Flores were slated to be returned home in accordance to the family’s wishes, as of print time.
A Litchfield Park native, Flores was killed December 6, 2018, in an “aircraft mishap” off the coast of Japan, according to a Marines press release. His family could not be reached for comment.
Also killed and recovered were: Lt. Col. Kevin R. Herrmann, 38, of New Bern, North Carolina; and Maj. James M. Brophy, 36, of Staatsburg, New York. The remains were taken to Delaware’s Dover Air Force Base and subsequently identified in early June. The Marines just released the information.
Cpl. Daniel E. Baker, 21, of Tremont, Illinois, and Cpl. William C. Ross, 21, of Hendersonville, Tennessee, were also killed. They have not been found.
“Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families and all those who loved our fallen warriors,” said Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Thomas D. Weidley, former commanding general of 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, in a statement.
“I am extremely grateful for the professionalism, dedication and support of those who brought our Marines home.”
Flores attended Litchfield Park’s Scott L. Libby Elementary School, and Western Sky Junior High School in Goodyear. He decided to attend Valley Vista High School in Surprise and was in its first four-year graduating class in 2010. He immediately enlisted in the Marines.
The accident involved a Marine Corps KC-130 refueling tanker and an F/A-18 fighter jet collision during a training operation. Capt. Jahmar F. Resilard, 28, was pronounced dead soon after the incident. The weapons officer survived. The incident’s cause is still under investigation.
According to published reports, Lt. Col. James R. Compton, the commanding officer of Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242, was relieved of his duties on April 22 for a “loss of trust and confidence.”
The KC-130J’s cockpit voice recorder and digital flight recorder were also obtained in the operation and were sent to Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, Maryland.