One of five missing Marines declared dead after their refueling plane collided with a fighter jet last week off Japan's southern coast was from central Illinois.
The Marine Corps on Wednesday identified 21-year-old Cpl. Daniel E. Baker of Tremont, Illinois as one of the victims on a KC-130 Hercules refueling aircraft that collided with an F/A-18 Hornet during regular training. Baker joined the Marines two years ago and is survived by his mother and father.
The Bloomington Pantagraph reports Baker was a 2015 Tremont High School graduate. The Tremont School District says Baker had been active in the school's robotics program and was an Illinois State Scholar.
"With heavy hearts we learned of the passing of Daniel Baker, a 2015 graduate of Tremont High School, who was serving our country with the United States Marine Corps when his plane went down over the Sea of Japan," Tremont High School School District 702 said in a statement.
"He was one of the best and brightest our community produced and his faith continues to strengthen all those who knew him," the statement continued. "The Baker family is special to our school community and our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time."
The military's identifications came after an intense search off Japan's coast was called off.
The other four crew members were identified as: Lt. Col. Kevin R. Herrmann, 38, of New Bern, North Carolina; Maj. James M. Brophy, 36, of Staatsburg, New York; Staff Sgt. Maximo A. Flores, 27, of Surprise, Arizona; and Cpl. William C. Ross, 21, of Hendersonville, Tennessee.
They were based at Iwakuni air station near Hiroshima as part of the Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152.