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Wheatland Sun

Placer native among 5 Marines killed in aircraft crash

Jun 13, 2022 12:00AM ● By By Shaun Holkko, assistant editor

Capt. John J. Sax, 33, of Placer, California, an MV-22B Pilot. Photo courtesy of U.S. Marine Corps

Placer native among 5 Marines killed in aircraft crash [5 Images] Click Any Image To Expand

Capt. John Sax, 31, attended Granite Bay High School

GLAMIS, CA (MPG) – Five United States Marines tragically died in an aircraft crash Wednesday, June 8, in Glamis, California, during what was supposed to be a routine training session.

One of the five victims was identified as Capt. John J. Sax, 33, of Placer, California. The other four victims were: Cpl. Nathan E. Carlson, 21, of Winnebago, Illinois, a Tiltrotor Crew Chief. Capt. Nicholas P. Losapio, 31, of Rockingham, New Hampshire, an MV-22B Pilot. Cpl. Seth D. Rasmuson, 21, of Johnson, Wyoming, a Tiltrotor Crew Chief. Lance Cpl. Evan A. Strickland, 19, of Valencia, New Mexico, a Tiltrotor Crew Chief.

John Sax graduated from Granite Bay High School and went on to become a MV-22B Pilot for the Marines. John Sax is the son of West Sacramento native and five-time MLB All-Star, Steve Sax.

"It is with complete devastation that I announce that my precious son, Johnny was one of the five US Marines that perished on Wednesday, June 8, in the Osprey Military crash near San Diego," Steve Sax said in a statement published Saturday by CBSLA-TV. "For those of you that knew Johnny, you saw his huge smile, bright light, his love for his family, the Marines, the joy of flying airplanes and defending our country! He was my hero and the best man I know, there was no better person to defend our country."

Steve Sax said when his son John was a boy, he dreamed of being a pilot and would get distracted by planes flying overhead during his Little League baseball games.

"There was never any doubt from a young age that Johnny would be a pilot and his passion was to fly!" Steve Sax said in a statement. "This loss will change my life forever and is a loss to not only the Marines but this world!"

"It is with heavy hearts that we mourn the loss of five Marines from the Purple Fox family" said Lt. Col. John C. Miller, Commanding Officer of VMM-364, in a news release. "This is an extremely difficult time for VMM-364 and it is hard to express the impact that this loss has had on our squadron and its families.

“Our primary mission now is taking care of the family members of our fallen Marines and we respectfully request privacy for their families as they navigate this difficult time. We appreciate all the prayers and support from the strong extended Purple Fox family and want them to know that more information will be forthcoming on how to help."

The five Marines were based at Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, CA, and were flying on a MV-22B Osprey aircraft at the time of the crash. All five were assigned to the Marine Medium Tiltrotor (VMM) Squadron 364, Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW), according to a news release from the Marines.

At the time of the mishap according to the Marines, the MV-22B Osprey and crew were conducting routine flight training and that the cause of the crash is under investigation. The crash occurred in Imperial County which is about 115 miles east of San Diego and about 50 miles from Yuma, Arizona.

John Sax served in the Marines for five years and eight months. He was awarded with the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Letter of Appreciation. John Sax is survived by his 20-month-old daughter and his wife Amber, who is pregnant with their second child.

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