A man from the Hudson Valley was one of six, including five Marines, declared dead after their refueling plane collided with a fighter jet off the southern coast of Japan last week.
Major James M. Brophy, 36, from Staatsburg in Dutchess County, and the four others were killed when their KC-130J Hercules crashed with an F/A-18D Hornet during refueling training conducted at around 2 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 6.
Brophy, a 12-year member of the corps, is survived by his wife, son and daughter. His decorations include the Air Medal with two Strike Flight Awards, one Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and one Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.
The other Marines killed, also assigned to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron (VMGR) 152, were: Lt. Col. Kevin R. Herrmann, 38, of New Bern, North Carolina.; Staff Sgt. Maximo A. Flores, 27, of Surprise, Arizona; Cpl. Daniel E. Baker, 21, of Tremont, Illinois; and Cpl. William C. Ross, 21, of Hendersonville, Tennessee. The pilot of the Hornet, Capt. Jahmar F. Resilard, 28, of Miramar, Florida, was also killed.
Lt. Col. Mitchell Maury, commanding officer of VMGR-152, described the men as “exceptional aviators, Marines, and friends who will be eternally missed."
“We are profoundly saddened to learn of the passing of James M. Brophy of Staatsburg," Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro said. "Major Brophy defended our nation and our liberty, and will forever be remembered as an American hero who selflessly sacrificed to protect our homeland and the values we hold dear.
"While we enjoy unparalleled freedom in this country, it comes at a cost. Like countless brave men and women before him, James bravely and freely served his fellow Americans – both his neighbors here in Dutchess County, and millions more he never met, living in towns, villages, and cities throughout our great land – to safeguard our way of life.
"Having given his life for his country, James leaves a legacy of service to his country and honor to his family, friends, and community; may they know the comfort of loved ones and a truly grateful nation. Dutchess County and the United State of America are eternally indebted to James and his family for his service. Flags on all County buildings will remain at half-staff in honor of James and his sacrifice.”
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