Last week US Marine Corps Cpl. Skyler James with Tiltrotor Squadron 261 was struck by lightning while working on an and suffered critical injuries.

A Marine MV-22 Osprey mechanic who was critically injured when lightning struck on the flightline last week has been taken off a ventilator, has learned. Cpl. Skyler James, a maintainer assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 261, out of Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina, had been working on an aircraft July 11 when the strike happened.

James was 23 and a 2012 graduate of Petaluma High School in Petaluma, California, according to the Press-Democrat, a local newspaper. He had enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2014 and had been promoted to the rank of corporal in October.

Lt. Col. Stephen Pirrotta, commanding officer of VMM-261, paid tribute to James’ quick smile and easy demeanor in a statement.

“Cpl. Skyler James was a hardworking Marine full of work ethic, ability, and drive,” Pirrotta said. “… This was a tragic accident. Corporal James will be sorely missed by the Raging Bulls. His family is in our thoughts and prayers.” –

Featured image U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Mackenzie Gibson