USA marines missing after aircraft 'mishap' off Japan

Larry Hoffman
December 6, 2018

"The circumstances of the mishap are now under investigation".

Search-and-rescue operations are underway after a pair of Marine Corps aircraft were involved in a "mishap" early Thursday off the coast of Japan.

The Marine Corps did not elaborate on the nature of the incident.

The crash took place 320 kilometers (200 miles) off the coast.

The Marines said in a statement that Japanese search and rescue aircraft responded and were aiding in the rescue effort.

A United States official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said one of the aircraft was an F/A 18 fighter jet and the other was a KC-130 refuelling aircraft, with a combined total of seven U.S. personnel aboard.

The planes involved were an F-18 fighter and a C-130 tanker, the official said.

ABC News reported that a total of seven people were thought to be on the two aircraft.

USA media say the two planes crashed during midair refuelling but this has not been officially confirmed. The reports suggest the F/A-18 is a two-seat variant and five other crewmembers were on board the C-130. The F/A-18 is a two-seater jet.

Reports on Twitter indicate that two USA military aircraft have crashed during a midair refueling operation off Iwakuni, Japan.

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