A Marine Corps pilot who died when his jet crashed March 1 east of Fallon was remembered by his command Saturday as a heroic aviator who had a strong love for flying and his family.
The U.S. Marine Corps released its official statement Sunday morning, Japan Standard Time.
Capt. Reid B. Nannen, 32, of Hopedale, Ill., was assigned to Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242, Marine Aircraft Group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III MEF. Navy officials said Nannen’s F/A-18C crashed on a training range about 140 miles east of Naval Air Station Fallon.
The Marine jet was on loan to the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center. The Navy reported that no other injuries or damage resulted from the crash and that no munitions or weapons were present during the training flight.
Nannen, a student at the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center, was permanently stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni since Aug. 3, 2012.
“Capt. Nannen was a fighter pilot through and through,” said Lt. Col. Bruce Gordon, commanding officer. “He embodied all the qualities of the heroic aviators of old and was the leader of the current generation. His love of flying was surpassed only by his love of family and there was no better husband, father or friend.”
Col. Hunter Hobson, commanding officer of Marine Aircraft Group 12, echoed Gordon’s comments.
“Capt. Nannen was a fine officer and will be truly missed by everyone here in the Air Group,” Hobson said. “We honor his service and his contribution to the Marine Corps and our nation. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”
Initially, bloggers and several websites, including a memorial fund site, identified Nannen as the deceased pilot.
Nannen was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps on May 25, 2004. He deployed to Afghanistan from May to December 2010 with VMFA-232 and October 2011 to May 2012 with 1st Light Armored
Reconnaissance Battalion in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
His personal awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Air Medal-Strike/Flight numeral four and the National Defense Service Medal.
Nannen is survived by his wife, Sarah, and their four children, as well as his parents, Dale and Mary.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation.