A flight surgeon from St. George is among the eight who unfortunately died in an aircraft crash near the coast of Yakushima Island in Japan.

The surgeon was U.S. Air Force Maj. Eric V. Spendlove, 36, who was serving alongside seven other servicemen in the 1st Special Operations Squadron, and 353rd Special Operations Wing at the Kadena Air Base in Japan.

Spendlove and his crewmates were reportedly performing a routine training mission in a U.S. CV-22 Osprey on November 29 when the crash occurred due to undisclosed reasons.

Search and rescue teams searched for days to find any sign of the crash and missing personnel including Spendlove.

Utah Governor Spencer Cox gave his condolences to Spendlove’s family via a post on X (formerly known as Twitter).

Governor Cox said, “We’re deeply saddened to learn about the tragic passing of U.S. Air Force Maj. Eric V. Spendlove from St. George, Utah. Maj. Spendlove served this nation with honor, and our thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones during this difficult time.”

Derick Fox from ABC 4 Utah also wrote an article on Spendlove’s untimely death that provided the names of the other crewmembers who passed away in the crash on November 29.

  • Maj. Jeffrey T. Hoernemann, 32, of Andover, Minnesota
  • Maj. Luke A Unrath, 34, of Riverside, California
  • Capt. Terrell K. Brayman, 32, of Pittsford, New York
  • Tech. Sgt. Zachary E. Lavoy, 33, of Oviedo, Florida
  • Staff Sgt. Jacob M. Galliher, 24, of Pittsfield, Massachusetts
  • Staff Sgt. Jake M. Turnage, 25, of Kennesaw, Georgia
  • Senior Airman Brian K. Johnson, 32, of Reynoldsburg, Ohio

Thank you to Fox and ABC 4 for obtaining the names of these fallen friends, and our thoughts and prayers are with Spendlove’s family and friends as well as the friends and families of the other victims.


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