Marine lost at sea considered 1st U.S. casualty of ISIS mission

Memorial planned aboard amphibious assault ship for Marine lost in Persian Gulf

The Marine lost in the Persian Gulf after bailing out of an MV-22 Osprey was Cpl. Jordan Spears, 21, of Memphis, Ind., the Department of Defense announced.

Spears was a tilt-rotor crew chief with the Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 163, based at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. He enlisted in October 2010 and was on his first deployment.

Media accounts call Spears the first U.S. casualty from the bombing mission against Islamic militant targets in Iraq and Syria.

Spears bailed out of the Osprey on Wednesday when it lost power and appeared in danger of crashing. A second Marine also bailed out and was rescued. He is in stable condition.

The pilot of the Osprey was able to regain control and land aboard the amphibious assault ship Makin Island. The incident occurred shortly after an attempted takeoff.

Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard personnel joined in the search for more than 24 hours. An investigation into the cause of the Osprey's problem is underway.

Spears "fulfilled a key role in our aviation combat element," said Col. Matthew Trollinger, commander of the Camp Pendleton-based 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, now deployed aboard the Makin Island.

A memorial for Spears will be held aboard the Makin Island.

The San Diegio-based Makin Island is deployed to the U.S. Central Command area in support of U.S. operations in Iraq and Syria, the Navy said.

The Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group consists of three ships and 4,000 Marines and sailors.

tony.perry@latimes.com

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