BETHEL, Maine — One of the three Marines believed to have died in an MV-22 Osprey crash off the coast of Australia was a Maine native.

Family members tell the Portland Press Herald ( that 1st Lt. Benjamin Robert Cross grew up in Bethel, Maine, and attended the Virginia Military Institute before joining the Marines.

A Marine statement indicates the Osprey launched from the USS Bonhomme Richard and was conducting regularly scheduled operations when it crashed Saturday. Twenty-three of 26 personnel aboard the aircraft were rescued.

U.S. military officials called off the search and rescue operation on Sunday.

In Maine, Ryan Cross said his 26-year-old brother loved to fly and “was proud of being a Marine and of the aircraft he flew.” Cross’ parents are Robert and Valerie Cross.

Information from: Portland Press Herald,

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