Navy IDs Marine Presumed Dead at Sea - NBC New York
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Navy IDs Marine Presumed Dead at Sea

Cpl. Jordan L. Spears, 21, of USS Makin Island based in San Diego, was lost at sea on Oct. 1

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    Navy IDs Marine Presumed Dead at Sea
    NBC 7 San Diego/USMC
    Navy officials said 21-year-old Cpl. Jordan L. Spears, of Memphis, Indiana, was lost at sea on Oct. 1, 2014.

    The U.S. Navy identified a San Diego-based Marine Friday presumed dead at sea after an aircraft malfunction in the North Arabian Gulf earlier this week.

    Navy officials said 21-year-old Cpl. Jordan L. Spears, of Memphis, Indiana, was lost at sea Wednesday.

    Spears was assigned to Marine Tiltrotor Squadron 163, Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar in San Diego.

    Spears was supporting operations with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit as part of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group during Wednesday’s deadly incident.

    He was among a group of two enlisted personnel and two pilots aboard the MV-22B Osprey when it took off from USS Makin Island.

    The aircraft lost power shortly after takeoff and appeared to be heading into the water. The two air crew members – one of them Spears – jumped into the ocean when they thought they were going to crash, the Navy said.

    The pilot gained control of the plane and landed safely on the ship. One Marine was pulled from the water, but Spears was never found despite an extensive search.

    On Thursday, the Navy announced it had called off the search and rescue operation for Spears after efforts to locate him proved unsuccessful.

    The incident is being investigated by the Navy and Marine Corps, officials said.

    USS Makin Island, an amphibious assault ship, is based at Naval Base San Diego. The ship is currently deployed to the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility where it is supporting operations in Iraq and Syria, and throughout the region, the Navy said.

    The U.S. Marine Corps said this was Spears' first deployment. He enlisted in the Marine Corps Oct. 14, 2010, out of Memphis, Indiana.

    His personal and service awards include the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, USMC officials said.

    Col. Matthew Trollinger, commanding officer of the 11th MEU, released the following statement Friday on the loss of Spears:

    "Cpl. Spears was a cherished member of our MEU family, and he fulfilled a key role in our aviation combat element. His absence will be felt throughout the unit. My heart goes out to his family, and they will remain in our thoughts and prayers," he said.

    A memorial for Spears will be held onboard the USS Makin Island in the coming days, USMC officials said.