US Marine colleagues of Major Taj Sareen who died after his F-18 crashed in Redmere, Cambridgeshire, leave Suffolk on solemn journey back to MCAS Mirimar, California
- Credit: Archant
The colleagues of a US Marine Corps pilot, who died after his F-18 crashed on the Suffolk/Cambridgeshire border, set off for home in California yesterday.
The members of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 232, of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, left on their solemn journey at 8.30am, seven days after Major Taj Sareen died.
The pilot of 11 years experience in the Marines died at the scene, despite witnesses seeing him eject from the US Navy jet, which crashed in a “fireball” on a farm in Redmere, near Shippea Hill, at 10.30am on October 21.
Major Sareen, father to a 14-month-old daughter Jade, was flying one of six F-18s who took off from RAF Lakenheath that morning, crashing just five miles away.
Witnesses have labelled the pilot a “hero”, saying appeared to be trying to miss nearby houses and farm buildings, with one saying he may have survived if he ejected earlier. Two farmers were working just 200m from the crash site.
You may also want to watch:
Major Sareen’s squadron were on their way home to Marine Corps Air Station Mirimar after completing a six-month tour in the Middle East, where US forces are currently launching strikes against the so called Islamic State terrorists (ISIS).
According to the US Air Force 48th Fighter Wing at RAF Lakenheath, the remaining F/A-18 Hornets (F-18s) in the UK took off from both RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland and from Lakenheath yesterday morning.
- 1 Man in 20s dies in collision between lorry and pedestrian on A14
- 2 Suffolk estate which featured on TV show on the market for £1.25m
- 3 Ipswich Town transfer rumours: Blues linked with goalkeeper and coaching move for former loanee
- 4 Car on its side in middle of roundabout after crash outside Haverhill Tesco
- 5 Van's roof torn off as it gets stuck under Suffolk bridge
- 6 'Next season we'll have a right go' - Roberts on Fleetwood win and Chambers' future
- 7 Matchday Recap: Lightning start for Town secures Fleetwood win
- 8 Biker breaks collarbone in swerve to avoid car on wrong side of road
- 9 Stu says: Five observations following Ipswich Town's 3-1 win against Fleetwood
- 10 Photos released in connection with two indecent exposure incidents
An appeal on the website GoFundMe, set up by Major Sareen’s friend Captain Annie Driscoll, has now raised around £36,000 for the pilot’s daughter Jade.
Hundreds of people from both sides of the Atlantic have donated to the fund, which will be put in trust for Jade. They are hoping to raise £65,000 ($100,000).
Major Sareen’s remains have already been repatriated to the US, while the crash investigators from the 48th Fighter Wing are expected to remain on the site for one to two weeks.