Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Election 2020: Live Results | Tracking COVID-19 | Racial Justice

Remains Of Servicemen Killed In Sea Training Accident Sent To East Coast

U.S. Marines and Sailors with Bravo Company, Battalion Landing Team 1/4, 15th...

Photo by Lance Cpl. Brendan Mullin / U.S. Marine Corps

Above: U.S. Marines and Sailors with Bravo Company, Battalion Landing Team 1/4, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, carry a casket inside a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar on Aug. 12, 2020. The remains of seven Marines and a Sailor recovered Aug. 7 off the coast of San Clemente Island following a July 30 assault amphibious vehicle mishap were transferred to Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, for final preparation for burial before being released to their families.

The remains of seven Marines and a Navy sailor who died two weeks ago when an amphibious assault vehicle sank in the ocean near San Clemente Island were transferred Thursday from Marine Corps Air Station Miramar to Dover Air Force Base, the Marine Corps announced.

Six military pallbearers escorted each of the late servicemen's caskets aboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 bound for the Delaware base for final preparation for burial, after which they will be released to their families for final arrangements.

RELATED: Remains Of Seven Marines And Sailor To Be Transferred To Dover Air Force Base

The amphibious troop-transport vehicle the Camp Pendleton-based personnel were aboard foundered for unknown reasons July 30 during a maritime training mission about 80 miles west of Encinitas and went down in water nearly 400 feet deep. Seven other members of the crew survived.

The military recovered the victims' bodies from the sea floor Friday.

Transferred today to Dover AFB were the remains of:

— Pfc. Bryan J. Baltierra, 18, of Corona;

— Lance Cpl. Marco A. Barranco, 21, of Montebello;

— Pfc. Evan A. Bath, 19, of Oak Creek, Wisconsin;

— Christopher Gnem, 22, of Stockton, a Navy hospital corpsman 3rd class;

— Pfc. Jack-Ryan Ostrovsky, 20, of Bend, Oregon;

— Cpl. Wesley A. Rodd, 22, of Harris, Texas;

— Lance Cpl. Chase D. Sweetwood, 18, of Portland, Oregon; and

— Cpl. Cesar A. Villanueva, 21, of Riverside.

The body of Lance Cpl. Guillermo S. Perez, 19, of New Braunfels, Texas, who also died when the AAV sank, was transferred from San Diego to the Air Force installation in Delaware last Wednesday.

The cause of the accident remains under investigation, according to the Marine Corps.


San Diego News Matters podcast branding

KPBS' daily news podcast covering local politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings so you can listen on your morning commute.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Curious San Diego banner

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.