In a somber announcement made this Thursday, it was revealed that the search for five Marines, who had gone missing after their helicopter crashed in a national forest in California on February 6th, has come to a tragic end. The Marines, part of the esteemed “Flying Tigers” of the Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361, were en route to the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California, aboard a CH-53E Super Stallion, a helicopter renowned for its heavy lifting capabilities, when disaster struck.

Maj. Gen. Borgschulte, the commander of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, expressed his deep sorrow over the incident.

“It is with a profound heaviness in our hearts and a deep sadness that we mourn the loss of five exceptional Marines,”

he stated, promising unwavering support and care for the families of the fallen Marines during this heart-wrenching period.

The CH-53E’s journey began at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada, traversing the Cleveland National Forest amidst challenging weather conditions. Concerns were raised when the helicopter failed to arrive at Miramar as scheduled, prompting an immediate search. The wreckage was eventually discovered in Pine Valley, roughly 50 miles east of San Diego.

Efforts are now being coordinated between the military service and local authorities to facilitate the recovery of both the Marines’ remains and the helicopter’s wreckage, marking a sorrowful chapter in the storied legacy of the “Flying Tigers.”

The names of the fallen Marines are being withheld pending notification of their next of kin. An investigation into the crash is ongoing.