The mother of a US Marine reported lost of the Japanese coast last week is hoping to find her son, days after the deadly mid-air collision between a Marine fighter and refueling plane.
Phoenix-area resident Rosa Bennett’s son, Maximo Flores, is one of the five Marines missing following Thursday’s collision between an F/A-18 and a KC-130 off the coast of Japan.
While two US Marines were recovered thus far, only one has survived.
“I just pray to God that they find (my son) and bring him home,” Bennett said, adding that her heart is breaking and the unknown is terrifying. “I was just hoping it was a mistake, that he wasn’t in that plane, but he was. It’s very hard. I mean — I picture him. I just see his face, his smile and then realize I’m not going to see it again,” she told KPHO.
A non-commissioned officer who was 27 years of age when he went missing, Flores was one of the five crew members aboard the KC-130 refueling aircraft.
“They don’t have any updates right now, all they’ve confirmed is that he is one of the five missing.”
Flores was known for his personality, good nature and determination.
“Ever since he was a little kid he would always say, ‘I’m gonna go to the Marines. I’m going to the Marines.’ And he did,” she said. “He graduated went into the Marines and was doing really well. He loved serving his country.”
Another Marine, Carter Ross, from Henderson, TN, has been identified as one of the five missing Marines.
He was identified by a GoFundMe page that has raised almost $3,000 so far.
The Department of Defense has refrained from commenting on the matter in detail, saying they do not provide information on missing personnel.
While two aviators were fished out of the ocean, only one has survived- Captain Jahmar Resilard, 28, of Miramar, Fla., died in the mid-air collision, according to a statement posted to the III MEF Marines Facebook page.
“The Bats [Marine All Weather Attack Squadron 242] are deeply saddened by the loss of Captain Jahmar Resilard. He was an effective and dedicated leader who cared for his Marines and fellow fighter pilots with a passion,” Lt. Col. James Compton said in the statement. “His warm and charismatic nature bound us together and we will miss him terribly. We honor his service and his contribution to the Marine Corps and our great nation. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”
The surviving crewman -believed to be the F/A-18’s pilot of weapons systems officer- has yet to be formally identified.
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