Family of missing Marine speaks following crash

Family of missing Marine speaks following crash (WRGB)

Family members of Marine Corps 1st Lt. Benjamin Cross have confirmed that he was on the Osprey aircraft that crashed off the Australian coast Saturday. Twenty three people were rescued. A recovery mission for the bodies of three missing Marines is now underway. Lt. Cross’ family confirms the 26 year old pilot is among the missing.

“He was just an amazing individual and the world is just such a lesser place because he is no longer here,” said Ryan Cross, Lt. Cross’ brother. Ryan has ties to the local area. He said he just left active duty with the Army, and moved his family from Japan to Lake Luzerne.

Ryan Cross spoke with CBS6 News over the phone from Maine, where his parents live and where he and his brother grew up. He said his brother had a love of aviation from a young age and was driven through high school, college and rigorous training to become an Osprey pilot.

“He was just amazing, so smart, and just put everything he had into everything he did,” said Cross.

Cross said his brother loved his career.

“He loved flying, he loved the aircraft and he loved doing what he did,” said Cross.

He said his brother was loved, because of his intelligence, humor, adventurous spirit and work ethic.

“He was just so caring, he always gave more than he ever asked for, he was the type of guy who was always willing to help whoever needed it,” said Cross. “We are so proud of him, we can't even put that into words how proud of him we are.”

Cross said that the family does not know if his brother was flying at the time of the crash. But he said it’s clear the flight crew on board acted heroically.

“That could have been so catastrophic. It could have been 26 of 26 families receiving this notice that we did and because of the air crew on board, not just my brother, but the whole crew on board their actions prevented that,” said Cross.

Cross also said his family’s thoughts and prayers go out to the other families that are going through the same loss.

“There are two other families out there right now going through exactly what we are going through and we just want them to know they are in our thoughts and prayers and we feel for them as well,” said Cross.

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