Marines killed, presumed dead in California training exercise identified

Marines killed, presumed dead in California training exercise identified
© US Marine Corps

The U.S. Marines killed and presumed dead in a training accident off the coast of Southern California last week were identified Monday by the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit. 

The unit said one Marine was killed, and seven Marines and one sailor are presumed dead after the amphibious assault mishap last Thursday. 

Officials on Saturday said they concluded a search and rescue operation after determining that there was little chance of successfully locating the service members.


Lance Cpl. Guillermo S. Perez, 20, of New Braunfels, Texas, was pronounced dead at the scene, the Marine expeditionary unit said. Perez was a rifleman with Bravo Company, Battalion Landing Team. 

The eight others presumed dead were identified as Pfc. Bryan J. Baltierra, 19, of Corona, Calif.; Lance Cpl. Marco A. Barranco, 21, of Montebello, Calif.; Pfc. Evan A. Bath, 19, of Oak Creek, Wis.; U.S. Navy Hospitalman Christopher Gnem, 22, of Stockton, Calif.; Pfc. Jack Ryan Ostrovsky, 21, of Bend, Ore.; Cpl. Wesley A. Rodd, 23, of Harris, Texas; Lance Cpl. Chase D. Sweetwood, 19, of Portland, Ore.; and Cpl. Cesar A. Villanueva, 21, of Riverside, Calif. 

A Marine rifleman and a Marine assault amphibious vehicle crew member were also injured, but were not identified on Monday. In total, 16 personnel were aboard the vehicle around 5:45 p.m. when they reported taking on water while conducting shore-to-shore waterborne operations training near San Clemente Island. 

Five Marines were rescued. The incident is under investigation, according to the statement. 

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated where the accident took place.