When 16 American service members died on Monday after their transport plane had a midair emergency and plummeted into the rugged, rural farmland of the Mississippi Delta, the military suffered one of its worst aviation accidents in recent years. On Thursday, the bodies were taken to another transport plane, this one bound for Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, where military officials planned to process and prepare the remains.
Fifteen Marines and one sailor died in the crash. The military has not publicly identified any of the victims, but family members and friends have begun to discuss the service members who died. These are the victims who have been identified so far:
Stewart Air National Guard Base
Nine of the crash victims were members of a Marine Aerial Refueling and Transport Squadron based in Newburgh, N.Y.
Dan Baldassare | When the 20-year-old crewmaster of the transport plane was a child playing football in Colts Neck, N.J., he made clear that he wanted to be a Marine: Mr. Baldassare, a friend told a television station, would bring military gloves to practice. And on his Twitter account this month, he wrote about how he missed boot camp. Neighbors around his childhood home in New Jersey were stunned after the crash; one wept when she told another about what had happened.
Sean Elliott | His call sign was “Puffin,” and as a child he imagined himself behind the controls of C-130s. His father recalled to The San Diego Union-Tribune that Mr. Elliott, 30, would carry a model of one of the enormous planes to bed when he was young. On Monday, he was one of the pilots of the plane that crashed, a KC-130T, one of many variants of the C-130.
Brendan Johnson | Gunnery Sergeant Johnson, 46, was approaching the end of his career and was planning retirement and a possible move to Montana, his wife’s home state. His father said that the gunnery sergeant joined the Marines after studying fine arts in Vermont, and that his grandfather and father-in-law were military veterans.
Julian Kevianne | Sergeant Kevianne, who grew up in Michigan, spoke of joining the military long before he became a flight engineer. He enlisted in 2009, and a cousin told The Detroit News that the sergeant, 31, could be reserved at first, but that he could ultimately become “a loud blast of fun.” He was married and lived in New Windsor, N.Y.
Owen Lennon | In his life before the Marine Corps, Owen Lennon, 26, was a football and tennis player who imagined a career in criminal justice. But once he was in the military, his mother told a Pomona, N.Y., neighbor, Jeff Scheer, he picked up an interest in mechanics and intended to work in aviation mechanics after finishing his service.
Joshua Snowden | By the time Staff Sergeant Snowden, 31, graduated from high school in 2004, he had already enlisted in the Marine Corps, according to The Dallas Morning News. His Facebook page made his Texas pride plain, and the sergeant, a flight engineer, was a fan of the Dallas Cowboys.
Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Six of the Marines and the sailor were from an elite Marine Raider battalion based at Camp Lejeune, N.C.
William Kundrat | Staff Sergeant Kundrat, a father of two who married in 2004, joined the Marine Corps after high school. An Eagle Scout and football and lacrosse player in Maryland, he completed a tour of duty in Iraq and later joined a unit of Marine Special Operations Command, his mother told The Frederick News-Post. He was 33.
Ryan Lohrey | The only sailor aboard Monday’s flight, the Navy corpsman enlisted after finishing high school in Middletown, Ind., and later served in two combat theaters overseas. His father told The Herald Bulletin, an Indiana newspaper, that his son had intended to go into nursing after his military career. He married in early June and had two children.
Joseph Murray |A son of veterans, Mr. Murray had long disavowed any interest in the military, but he surprised his family when, toward the end of high school, he announced his plans to join the Marines. He was a husband and a father of four children, none of them older than 5, and his Christian faith was central to his life. His father said that Mr. Murray, of Jacksonville, Fla., was known for humming praise and worship songs while on patrol — and that when he would go quiet, “they took the safeties off their weapons because they all immediately thought something was up.”
Dietrich Schmieman | He signed up for the Marines at 19 with an ambition to serve in special operations, his father said, and he served in a reconnaissance unit before joining the elite Raider command about two years ago. He was 26 and raised in Richland, Wash.