Tech Sgt. Zachary Lavoy Maj. Jeffrey Hoernemann Maj. Eric Spendlove Maj. Luke Unrath Capt. Terrell Brayman Staff Sgt. Jake Turnage Senior Airman Brian Johnson Staff Sgt. Jake Galliher : “Air Force Sergeant Among Eight Airmen Killed in Aircraft Crash near Japan”

Death – Obituary – Accident and Crime News : OVIEDO, Fla. — A tragic aircraft crash near Japan last week claimed the lives of eight airmen, including an Air Force sergeant from Central Florida. Tech Sgt. Zachary Lavoy, a 33-year-old medical operations flight chief assigned to the 1st Special Operations Squadron, 353rd Special Operations Wing at Kadena Air Base in Japan, was among the victims, the Air Force Special Operations Command announced on Tuesday.

The incident prompted an intensive 24/7 search and rescue operation, which has now transitioned into a recovery effort. The focus is on locating and retrieving the remains of all eight airmen and the aircraft debris. So far, three sets of remains have been recovered, while three others have been located and are in the process of being recovered. The search teams are still working to find the remaining two.

The other airmen who lost their lives in the crash have been identified as Maj. Jeffrey Hoernemann, 32, from Andover, Minnesota; Maj. Eric Spendlove, 36, from St. George, Utah; Maj. Luke Unrath, 34, from Riverside, California; Capt. Terrell Brayman, 32, from Pittsford, New York; Staff Sgt. Jake Turnage, 25, from Kennesaw, Georgia; and Senior Airman Brian Johnson, 32, from Reynoldsburg, Ohio. The remains of Staff Sgt. Jake Galliher were recovered on the day of the crash.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation, and Japan’s Coast Guard and Self-Defense Forces are assisting the United States Pacific Air Forces and Pacific Fleet in the recovery efforts.

Air Force Special Operations Commander Lt. Gen. Tony Bauernfeind expressed his condolences, stating, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, friends, and peers of all who are impacted by this mishap and loss of life.” He highlighted the honorable service of the fallen airmen and emphasized that their sacrifices will never be forgotten.

The CV-22B Osprey, which the airmen were aboard during the training mission, is known for its unique hybrid design that allows it to function both as a helicopter and an airplane. It can take off and land vertically like a helicopter and then transition its propellers mid-flight to a forward position, enabling faster flying speeds.

As the recovery operation continues, the community mourns the loss of these brave airmen and honors their dedication to serving the nation.

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