US military identifies Marine Corps pilot killed in San Diego combat jet crash

10:34 28.08.2023

In a tragic incident, Maj. Andrew Mettler, known as "Simple Jack," was identified as the Marine Corps pilot who lost his life when his F/A-18D Hornet crashed during a training flight near the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego. The crash occurred at 11:54 p.m. on Thursday, and Mettler's body was recovered at the crash site. The U.S. military is currently investigating the cause of the crash.

Mettler, a native of Georgia, was stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in South Carolina and was commissioned in 2007. He held a leadership position in his squadron, the Fighting Bengals, at the time of his untimely death. Maj. Gen. Scott Benedict, the commanding general of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, paid tribute to Mettler, recalling their shared experience flying in an F/A-18D and appreciating his piloting skills and wry smile.

According to congressional records, Mettler had been selected for promotion to lieutenant colonel. His career awards included the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Korea Defense Service Medal.

Mettler's legacy as a skilled pilot and dedicated Marine will be remembered by all those he served with. Maj. Gen. Benedict emphasized the obligation to uphold the values that Mettler stood for. His loss will be deeply felt within the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing and among his fellow Marines and sailors in the Fighting Bengals squadron.

Mettler, who earned a degree in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2007, leaves behind a profound impact on the Marine Corps community. The crash site, described as government property east of the air station, is currently being investigated.

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, where the incident occurred, houses over 12,000 Marines, sailors, and civilians. This is not the first time an F/A-18 Hornet has crashed in San Diego, as the last incident took place in 2008 when an aircraft tragically crashed into a home in the University City area, claiming the lives of four family members inside.

The loss of Maj. Andrew Mettler serves as a reminder of the risks that military personnel take during training missions and the dedication they have to their service. The Marine Corps community mourns the loss of one of their own and honors Maj. Mettler's contributions to his squadron and the nation.

/ Monday, August 28, 2023, 10:34 AM /

themes:  Military  War  California  Georgia  South Carolina

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