LVN News Service

Back to: News
March 21, 2013
Follow News

Marines identified from Hawthorne accident

The U.S. Marine Corps released on Wednesday the names of seven Marines who were killed Monday night in a live-fire training exercise at the Hawthorne Army Depot.

Also on the same day, the military flew the bodies back aboard a C-17 transport plane from the Nevada Air National Guard base at Reno to the Dover Air Force Base mortuary. The Marine Corps also said eight others, including a Navy corpsman, were injured. The injured were transported to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno for treatment and further evaluation. Their conditions are described as fair to serious.

“Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers go out to the families and friends of our fallen angels,” said Lt. Col. Andrew J. McNulty, commanding officer of the 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment at Camp Lejune, N.C. “Currently, there are several teams of investigators already on site, working around the clock, to determine what happened so we can prevent it from happening again. We do not know what caused the mortar system failure.”

In a prepared statement, McNulty said the Marines had completed a winter mountain exercise at the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center near Bridgeport, Calif., on March 11 and transitioned to live-fire training that started two days later at Hawthorne.

“We expected to complete the exercise upon the conclusion of the night live-fire training, which we were in the process of executing on that fateful evening,” McNulty said.

According to McNulty, numerous acts of selflessness occurred as the injured cared for each other and directed corpsmen to care for more severely injured before being treated themselves. He said the Marines and sailors did everything possible to save and care for those affected by the malfunction.

McNulty also commended the community support from Hawthorne residents after the accident.

“The outpouring of support from the local community, the police and medical personnel who cared for our Marines and sailors, other units throughout the Marine Corps, and the American public is truly humbling,” he said. “Through their efforts, we are able to better assist the families of the fallen and injured.”

The seven Marines included the following:

Pfc. Joshua M. Martino, 19, of Clearfield, Pa., served as a mortarman assigned to 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment. He joined the Marine Corps in July 2012. Martino’s awards include the National Defense Service Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

Lance Cpl. David P. Fenn II, 20, of Polk City, Fla., was a mortarman assigned to 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment. He joined the Marine Corps in June 2010 Fenn’s awards include the Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, and NATO Medal-ISAF Afghanistan. He was most recently deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2011.

Lance Cpl. Roger W. Muchnick Jr., 23, of Fairfield, Conn., was a mortarman assigned to 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment. He joined the Marine Corps in June 2010. Muchnick’s awards include the Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, and NATO Medal-ISAF Afghanistan. He was most recently deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2011.

Lance Cpl. Joshua C. Taylor, 21, of Marietta, Ohio, was a mortarman assigned to 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment. He joined the Marine Corps in June 2010. Taylor’s awards include the Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, and NATO Medal-ISAF Afghanistan. He was most recently deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2011.

Lance Cpl. Mason J. Vanderwork, 21, of Hickory, N.C., was a mortarman assigned to 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment. He joined the Marine Corps in June 2010. Vanderwork’s awards include the National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, and NATO Medal-ISAF Afghanistan. He was most recently deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2011.

Lance Cpl. William T. Wild IV, 21, of Anne Arundel, Md., was a mortarman assigned to 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment. He joined the Marine Corps in October 2010. Wild’s awards include the Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, and NATO Medal-ISAF Afghanistan. He was most recently deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2011.

Cpl. Aaron J. Ripperda, 26, of Madison, Ill., was an anti-tank missleman assigned to 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment. He joined the Marine Corps in September 2008. Ripperda’s awards include the Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, and NATO Medal-ISAF Afghanistan. He was most recently deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2011.

“We send our prayers and condolences to the families of the Marines and sailors who have been killed and injured in this tragic accident,” said Brig. Gen. Jim Lukeman, 2nd Marine Division Commanding General. “Our first priority is to provide them with the support they need during this very difficult time, and we’re doing that right now.”

Currently, the Department of Defense said there is an employment suspension of the 60mm mortar system across the Marine Corps. All units using the system have been directed to immediately discontinue using the mortar system until further notice.


Explore Related Articles

Trending in: News

Trending Sitewide

The Nevada Appeal Updated Jan 8, 2014 12:31PM Published Mar 22, 2013 11:41AM Copyright 2013 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.