The unit of three US Marines who perished after their Osprey aircraft crashed in Australia while they were participating in a military exercise has released their names.
When the MV-22B Osprey crashed on Melville Island about 9:30 a.m. local time on Sunday, there were 23 Marines on board, including Corporal Spencer R. Collart, 21, Captain Eleanor V. LeBeau, 29, and Major Tobin J. Lewis, 37.
According to their unit’s statement on Monday, Collart was the Osprey crew chief, LeBeau was a pilot, and Lewis was the executive officer of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 363 (VMM-363).
The MV-22B Osprey multifunctional aircraft that crashed on Melville Island, north of Darwin, on Sunday was flown by Captain Eleanor V. LeBeau, 29, of Belleville, Illinois.
LeBeau was commissioned into the USMC in 2018, and on March 1, 2023, he was given the rank of captain, according to the USMC. Before being sent to Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, she served in Pensacola, Florida, Corpus Christi, Texas, and Jacksonville, North Carolina.
LeBeau was awarded the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the National Defence Service Medal.
When a routine training exercise abruptly went wrong, Spencer, 21, and the Marine V-22B Osprey hybrid aircraft he was flying both perished. According to the U.S. Marine Corps, the cause is still being looked into.
Spencer Collart and 22 other Marines were on board the plane at approximately 9:30 a.m. on Sunday as it was taking part in a rehearsal with the armed forces of Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and East Timor over a tropical forest on Melville Island off the coast of Australia.
The aircraft abruptly crashed.
Collart would have endeavoured to ensure everyone’s safety while the Osprey was malfunctioning in his capacity as crew chief.
According to his father, Bart Collart, the lanky 6-foot-2 former defenseman on his Arlington County high school lacrosse team liked being a Marine.
After taking an aviation course as a youngster, Spencer Collart declared his intention to enlist in the Marine Corps. He did so the day after turning 18 with the intention of becoming an aircraft crew chief before eventually becoming a pilot.
Collart trained on a big branch of a tree near one of the rental homes the family resided in after the fire after a local recruiter said his upper body was too thin for the pull-up demands in boot camp. On that limb, he eventually managed to perform at least 11 pull-ups.
Jefferson County is home to one of the three American Marines who died in Australia while participating in a training exercise.
Major Tobin J. Lewis was one of three service personnel who perished when the MV-22B Osprey aircraft they were aboard crashed on Sunday morning, according to the Marines.
Major Lewis’ military career carried him around the world, including to Spain and Japan.
He was promoted to the rank of major in 2018, according to a news release from the U.S. Marines.