NEW BERN, NC (WITN) - The body of a fallen Marine from here in the east has been recovered after an aircraft crash off the coast of Japan in December.
Lt. Colonel Kevin Herrmann, 38, of New Bern was killed when an FA-18 fighter jet collided with Herrmann's KC-130 during a training exercise off the coast of Japan in December. Both aircraft crashed into the ocean.
The U.S. Marine Corps says his body was recovered during a salvage operation earlier this month.
The Marine Corps says his remains will be released to his family.
"Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families and all those who loved our fallen Warriors," said U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Thomas D. Weidley, former commanding general of 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. "I am extremely grateful for the professionalism, dedication, and support of those who brought our Marines home."
Herrmann was a KC-130 pilot stationed in Japan as the executive officer for his squadron.
The remains of two other Marines, Maj. James M. Brophy, 36, of Staatsburg, New York, and Staff Sgt. Maximo A. Flores, 27, of Surprise, Arizona, were also recovered, as well as the KC-130J's cockpit voice and digital flight recorders.
The bodies of Cpl. Daniel E. Baker, 21, of Tremont, Ill., and Cpl. William C. Ross, 21, of Hendersonville, Tenn., were not recovered
The cause of the crash is still under investigation.
The U.S. Marine Corps has declared the five missing Marines from last Thursday's aircraft crash off the coast of Japan dead, including a Marine from New Bern.
Lt. Colonel Kevin Herrmann was a KC-130 pilot commissioned in 2002.
A KC-130 collided with an FA-18 fighter jet off the coast of Japan during a training exercise last week. Both aircraft crashed into the ocean.
The KC-130 Hercules was assigned to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152 (VMGR-152, call sign "Sumo"), 1st Marine Aircraft Wing.
"Every possible effort was made to recover our crew and I hope the families of these selfless Americans will find comfort in the incredible efforts made by US, Japanese, and Australian forces during the search," said U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Eric Smith, commanding general, III Marine Expeditionary Force.
Two Marines were rescued after the crash and one of them later died.
Search and rescue efforts were suspended on Monday.
Herrmann graduated from New Bern High School, after his father, retired Col Kevin Herrmann, was transferred to North Carolina. He then attended Appalachian State University.
He is survived by a wife and three daughters, ages 12, 10, and 7, according to the Marine Corps.
Herrmann was stationed in Japan as the executive officer for his squadron.
The Marine Corps says each Marine's next of kin has been notified.