Accident – Death – Obituary News :
Federal Authorities Confirm Minnesota Pilot Among the Eight Airmen Killed in Osprey Crash off Japan’s Coast
A tragic incident during a routine training mission claims the life of Major Jeffrey Hoernemann
Officials from federal authorities have confirmed that Major Jeffrey Hoernemann, a 32-year-old pilot from Andover, Minnesota, was one of the eight airmen on board the Osprey aircraft that crashed off the southern coast of Japan on November 29. The United States Air Force identified Hoernemann as a CV-22 instructor pilot and an officer in charge of training, serving in the 21st Special Operations Squadron, 353rd Special Operations Wing at Yokota Air Base in Japan.
The devastating crash resulted in the recovery of the remains of three airmen, while three more have been located and are currently being recovered. The search operation is still underway to find the remaining two airmen. This tragic incident has left the entire military community mourning the loss of these brave servicemen.
The Other Airmen Involved in the Crash
In addition to Major Jeffrey Hoernemann, the other airmen on board the ill-fated Osprey have been identified as follows:
- U.S. Air Force Maj. Eric Spendlove from St. George, Utah
- U.S. Air Force Maj. Luke Unrath from Riverside, California
- U.S. Air Force Capt. Terrell Brayman from Pittsford, New York
- U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Zachary Lavoy from Oviedo, Florida
- U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jake Turnage from Kennesaw, Georgia
- U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jacob Galliger from Pittsfield, Massachusetts
- U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Brian Johnson from Reynoldsburg, Ohio
Osprey Safety Concerns Resurface Following the Crash
This tragic incident has once again raised concerns about the safety of Osprey aircraft. The Osprey, a hybrid aircraft capable of taking off and landing like a helicopter while also cruising at high speeds like an airplane, has experienced several crashes in the past, including in Japan where they are utilized by both U.S. and Japanese military bases.
In response to the crash, Japan temporarily suspended flights of its Osprey aircraft and requested the U.S. military to ground all Ospreys operating in Japan, with the exception of those involved in the search and rescue operation at the crash site. However, the Pentagon clarified that U.S. Ospreys are continuing their operations in Japan despite Japan’s request.
A Second Minnesota Service Member Lost in a Month
This tragic incident marks the second loss of a Minnesota service member within a month. In November, 24-year-old Sgt. Cade M. Wolfe from Mankato lost his life during a helicopter crash in the Mediterranean Sea. Sgt. Wolfe was one of five U.S. Army Special Operations aviation soldiers who perished in that crash.
The armed forces community and the nation as a whole mourns the loss of Major Jeffrey Hoernemann and the other brave airmen who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country. Their dedication and commitment to duty will always be remembered.