US Marine missing from USS Essex identified, declared deceased

The US Navy has identified a Marine who was reported missing from the USS Essex on August 9 has been identified as Cpl. Jonathan Currier.

After a five-day search in the Mindanao Sea, which involved the Essex amphibious ready group (ARG) and the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) in addition to Philippine Coast Guard and Singaporean authorities, Currier who was previously listed as Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown (DUSTWUN) was declared deceased.

Currier, a New Hampshire native and a Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion crew chief, enlisted in the Marine Corps in August 2015 and graduated from Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Paris Island, in November of that year. He completed School of Infantry at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina; Aviation and A&C School in Pensacola, Florida; and Center for Naval Aviation Training in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

Currier was assigned to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361 at Marine Corps Air Station, Miramar, and was deployed at the time of his disappearance with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 166 Reinforced, 13th MEU, aboard the USS Essex (LHD 2).

Currier’s awards include the National Defense Service Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

“Our hearts go out to the Currier family,” said Col. Chandler Nelms, commanding officer, 13th MEU. “Cpl. Currier’s loss is felt by our entire ARG/MEU family, and he will not be forgotten.”

The extensive search effort concluded, Aug. 13. The search lasted five days and covered more than 13,000 square nautical miles with more than 110 sorties and 300 flight hours.

The circumstances surrounding the incident are currently being investigated.

Photo: US Navy file photo of USS Essex

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