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Update Media Release - 3d MAW Jet Crash Twentynine Palms July / 30 / 2016


A Third Marine Aircraft Wing pilot, based out of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California, was killed as a result of an F/A-18C Hornet crash during a training mission in the vicinity of Marine Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, also in California, at approximately 10:30 p.m. (PDT), July 28, 2016. 

Maj. Richard Norton, a pilot with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 232, Marine Aircraft Group 11, stationed at MCAS Miramar, died as a result of the crash.  The single-seat aircraft departed from MCAS Miramar to perform a close air support mission as a part of Integrated Training Exercise 5-16, a pre-deployment training exercise taking place at MAGCC. 

"My heart goes out to our Marine's family as we support them through this difficult time," said Maj. Gen. Mark Wise, commanding general of 3rd MAW. 

Norton, 36, a native of Arcadia, California, commissioned in the Marine Corps March 25, 2005. He previously deployed to Afghanistan in 2012 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and deployed to Japan multiple times as part of the Unit Deployment Program. 

His personal awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with gold star (in lieu of second award).  

"Losing Maj. Norton is a tremendous loss to the MAG-11 Team," said Col. William Swan, commanding officer of MAG-11.  "He was one of the best and brightest Hornet pilots our nation had to offer - our thoughts and prayers go out to his family."   

The cause of the crash is currently under investigation.

For additional information, please contact the MCAS Miramar Public Affairs Office at 858-577-6000 or follow our Twitter feed @MCASMiramarCA.

For MCAS Miramar and 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing press releases, please visit our Press Release Page.

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar