One of the four U.S. Marines killed in a crash during a training flight in Norway was a native of Massachusetts, officials revealed Sunday.
The aircraft crashed in Norway, during a NATO exercise called Cold Response 2022 on Friday. Four Marines were killed, including Capt. Ross Reynolds, 27, of Leominster.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Reynolds was a graduate of Leominster High School and Worcester State University.
Reynolds served as an MV-22B Osprey pilot with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 261. He joined the Marine Corps on May 13, 2017 and earned decorations including the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
“We are broken-hearted, left trying to imagine our lives without Ross. We are in shock and are devastated by his loss. We will miss his smile, his hugs, his laughter. We will miss his energy and goodness. Ross was so caring, compassionate and committed, not only to his country, but also to being the best son, brother, husband, son-in-law, nephew, cousin, uncle, brother-in-law, friend and Marine that he could be. We appreciate all those who have reached out to support us at this difficult time. We pray for Ross and the other Marines lost in this tragic accident.
“Our hearts go out to their families and their loved ones. We share their grief and will keep them in our thoughts and prayers. As well as the rest of his squadron, that now has to fill a large void in their lives. And we pray for our daughter-in-law Lana. She was the light of his life. They had so many plans. So much ahead of them. We are in shock, trying to come to terms with our loss. We ask that you respect our privacy, as we console and comfort each other during this difficult time,” his family said in a statement.
Also killed in the crash were Capt. Matthew Tomkiewicz, of Indiana, another pilot; Gunnery Sgt. James Speedy, of Ohio; and Cpl. Jacob Moore, of Kentucky.
Their Osprey was on the way north to Bodoe, where it was scheduled to land just before 6 p.m. Friday. The aircraft crashed in Graetaedalen in Beiarn, south of Bodoe. Police said a search and rescue mission was launched immediately. At 1:30 a.m. Saturday, the police arrived at the scene and confirmed that the crew of four had died.
The Cold Response drill includes around 30,000 troops, 220 aircraft and 50 vessels from 27 countries. Non-NATO members Finland and Sweden are also participating. The exercises began on March 14 and end on April 1.
The first Cold Response exercise was held in 2006, and the drills are conducted every two years. They take place in southeastern, central and northern Norway.
“My condolences and the condolences of all our residents to the families of these great Americans,” Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella said in a statement Sunday evening. “Ross was and his family were active as a scout and later as an Eagle Scout. Ross was always the ‘kid carrying the flag.’ We are a tight and loyal community and stand ready to support his parents, sister and his wife Lana during this difficult time. God bless these brave Marines and all who have served and serve for keeping us a free America.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.