It was nearly 12 years ago when an MV-22 Osprey Rotor Aircraft crashed at the Marana Regional Airport and burst into flames, killing 19 Marines on April 8, 2000.

The Marines on board, all whom were killed in the accident, were partaking in a nighttime maneuvering exercise as part of “Operation Evaluation.”

The Marines ranged in age from 18 to 39, with 14 stationed at Camp Pendleton, in California, four stationed at Quantico in Virginia, and one at Miramar, in California.

Each year, the Town of Marana teams up with the Marine Corps League and the Marana Regional Airport to honor the fallen soldiers.

This year, the commemoration will take place on April 7, starting at 10 a.m.

Town Manager Gilbert Davidson said he expects a similar format as years past. Last year included a wreath-laying, guest speaker from the Marine Corps, a rifle salute, taps, bagpipes and a vocal performance. The event is free and open to the public. The Marana Regional Airport is located at 11700 West Avra Valley Road #91.

The names of the Marines lost are listed below.

3rd Battalion, 5th Marine

Regiment, 1st Marine Division

Sgt. Jose Alvarez, 28

Pfc. Gabriel C. Clevenger, 21

Pfc. Alfred Corona, 23

Lance Cpl. Jason T. Duke, 28

Lance Cpl. Jesus Gonzalez Sanchez, 27

Lance Cpl. Seth G. Jones, 18

2nd Lt. Clayton J. Kennedy, 24

Lance Cpl. Jorge A. Morin, 21

Cpl. Adam C. Neely, 22

Pfc. Kenneth O. Paddio, 23

Pfc. George P. Santos, 24

Lance Cpl. Keoki P. Santos, 24

Cpl. Can Soler, 21

Pvt. Adam L. Tatro, 19


Marine Wing Communications Squadron 38,

Marine Air Control Group 38

Cpl. Eric J. Martinez, 21

Marine Helicopter Squadron 1

Maj. John A. Brow, 39

Maj. Brooks S. Gruber, 34

Cpl. Kelly S. Keith, 22


Marine Tilt-Rotor Training

Squadron 204

Staff Sgt. William B. Nelson, 30

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