Marine ID’d as service member who went overboard near Philippines

| August 19, 2018

uss essex

Fox News reports the Camp Pendleton-based Marine who fell overboard from an amphibious assault ship off the Philippines, has been identified by military officials as Cpl. Jonathan Currier, a native of New Hampshire.

He was declared dead Friday after five days of efforts to find him or recover his body were unsuccessful.

Currier went overboard from the amphibious USS Essex around 9:40 a.m. Aug. 9 while the aircraft was conducting routine operations off the coast of the Philippines, the report said.

Capt. Diann Rosenfield said Currier was with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit stationed at Camp Pendleton near San Diego, according to a news release.

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

According to the release, Currier enlisted in the Marine Corps in August 2015 and graduated from Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Paris Island, several months later.

At the time of Currier’s disappearance, he had been deployed with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 166 Reinforced, 13th MEU, aboard the Essex.

The search for Currier, assisted by the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines, and the Philippine Coast Guard, spanned 13,000 square nautical miles, the Marine Corps Times reported.

“All of our Marines and Sailors demonstrated a tremendous resilinence and put forth an extraordinary effort over the past five days,” Nelms said. “Our thoughts and prayers have been and will continue to be with our Marine’s family during this difficult time.”

Officials are currently investigated the circumstances surrounding the incident, the press release said. No official photo of Currier was provided.

Another grim reminder that training can be just as hazardous as war. Fair winds and following seas, Cpl. Currier. Condolences to his family, friends, and shipmates.

Eternal Father, grant, we pray

To all Marines, both night and day

The courage, honor, strength, and skill

Their land to serve, Thy law fulfill

Be Thou the shield forevermore

From every peril to the Corps.


Category: Marine Corps

Comments (18)

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  1. Graybeard says:

    Our prayers with the family – biological and military.

    Stories my Navy brother (love him anyway) tells about his time on the USS Ranger highlighted how dangerous just being on a boat is.

  2. FuzeVT says:

    Thoughts and prayers to him and his family. Further thoughts and prayers to all those away from home protecting our country.

  3. Sparks says:

    My prayers go out for his family. Rest in peace Brother.

  4. 5th/77thFA says:

    Damn! “Overboard @ 0940 while conducting routine operations.” Is there such a thing as “routine operations” on a floating middle of the ocean helipad? RIP Young Marine. God’s Peace be upon His Family.

  5. A Proud Infidel®™️ says:

    Another young Warrior taken from us far too soon, God be with him, his Family, Friends and Buddies.

  6. Steve1371 says:

    I am confused as to weather he fell off of the ship or out of a helo operating from the ship. Broad daylight and no-one saw him fall? Did he get sucked under and caught up in the prop or rudder? Has to be an awful felling to see your ship sail away without you. God look after his soul and comfort his family.

    • AW1Ed says:

      Lost overboard implies just that- he and the ship parted company for any one of numerous reasons, not specified in any article I can find. I’ll not speculate as to the cause, but just say that the deck of any aviation capable ship is a very dangerous place to be, and safety must be 360 degrees, all the time. Sad news.

      • Skidmark says:

        Steve1371, My thoughts as well due to the 1st part of the article;
        “Currier went overboard from the amphibious USS Essex around 9:40 a.m. Aug. 9 while the aircraft was conducting routine operations off the coast of the Philippines, the report said.”
        It says “overboard” and “aircraft”…typo in there somewhere I suppose? Maybe “carrier” was left out?
        Regardless, may this young man RIP, his friends, family & loved ones hold him close to their hearts and celebrate his sacrifice and his eternal happiness in our Fathers Heavenly Kingdom.

      • Mick says:


        Sad news indeed. As you and Atkron well know, the flight deck is an extremely hazardous environment whenever the ship is at Flight Quarters, even when it’s just Flight Quarters for aircraft re-spot, and it appears that the flight deck may have tragically claimed yet another victim.

        Cpl Currier was a CH-53E crew chief, and on an LHD, they routinely park the CH-53Es with their tail booms out over the water in the aft bone on the starboard side aft of the island.

        The 13th MEU Aviation Combat Element (VMM-166(Rein)), has F-35Bs with them on this deployment, and the F-35B primary landing area on the LHD is spot 7 just aft of the port side elevator and abeam of the aft bone.

        If Cpl Currier was in the aft bone while they were recovering F-35Bs, and was perhaps up on a CH-53E pre-flighting, performing maintenance, or was just unlucky and got caught unawares, it’s possible that he could have been blown over the side by an F-35B’s thrust as it was coming in for a VSTOL landing.

        A lot of people don’t have a full appreciation of just how powerful helicopter rotor wash and jet engine thrust can be, especially in the confines of the flight deck environment. I once saw a Yellow Shirt get knocked down by CH-53E rotor wash, and he broke his arm when he hit the flight deck. After he was knocked down, he got his good hand into a padeye and held on until some Blue Shirts got to him. Everyone was exactly where they were supposed to be on the flight deck, and everyone was doing exactly what they were supposed to be doing, and yet the Yellow Shirt was still badly injured during the course of ‘routine’ flight deck operations at sea.

        Semper Fidelis, Corporal Currier.

        • 5th/77thFA says:

          Thanks for the add on Mick. Not being a sailing Airdale, am not real familiar with these vessels. Seen lots of video on big carriers and such, but very little on these. That flight deck just got a whole lot smaller when you add in the F35B mission. Would venture to guess in that environment the whole “situational awareness factor” needs to be on steroids. I’m sure that all of his shipmates are wondering, what could we have done differently, and all of the guys & gals that have done and/or are doing this work are saying, there but for the Grace of God go I. Again, Peace to his Family and Mates.

        • AW1Ed says:

          Thanks, Mick. I was going to post an addendum, but you covered the points I was after, and more.

        • Eden says:

          Thanks, Mick! Gives me far greater appreciation for my sister, who did her carrier qual by landing an Army Black Hawk on a frigate.

  7. tsgt annabelle says:

    rip, dear brother.

  8. MustangCryppie says:

    Rest in peace, shipmate.

  9. Bobo says:

    Currier from New Hampshire, most likely a cousin. A horrible way to die.

  10. CCO says:

    Just water itself can be deadly; a year or so back a second cousin’s husband fell out of his fishing boat (a small two or three man boat) and drowned.

  11. Eden says:

    So sad. Praying for his family and shipmates.