A Marine Corps pilot who died when his jet crashed on 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 on 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. ³He 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, first identified Nannen as the deceased pilot.
According to a statement from The Captain Reid Nannen Memorial Children’s Fund, “Reid was a fighter pilot through and through. He embodied all the qualities of the heroic aviators of old and was the leader of the new generation. His love of flying was surpassed only by his love of family. A devout father of four, his passion for family served as a gleaming example for all to emulate. There was no better husband, father or friend. He touched countless souls during his journey through life and the world is a better place for it. Help us ensure his family is supported through the troubling times ahead as well as to establish a solid foundation for his children so they can continue the path he started.”
Marine Corps Times reported on Saturday the fund is trying to raise $200,000 for Nannen’s family. The fundraiser’s website features a picture of Nannen hugging three young children.
The Navy confirmed on Friday that a memorial for Nannen will be held sometime during the week of March 9 at NAS Fallon.
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 Nannen, and their four children, as well as his parents Dale and Mary Nannen
The Navy Range Complex provides Carrier Air Wing training, advanced instructor training, fleet replacement squadron training, integrated air-to-air and air-to-ground unit level training, joint exercises and tactics development. The range extends primarily extends east and northeast from Fallon.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation.