Nighthawk 72 Marana detachment 1344

marine corps league

Next Time You Hear Thunder in the Sky,
Know It Is 19 Proud Marines Yelling Semper Fi!

What is Nighthawk-72?

In Memory of the 19 Marines Lost in a Tragic Aircraft Accident

About 8 PM April 8, 2000 Marines were conducting training exercises near Marana Regional Airport when their Osprey V-22 Tilt Rotor (call sign Nighthawk-72) went down.

The names, ranks, assignments, units and hometowns for those killed:

From Camp Pendleton, Calif., all from the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division: 
Sgt. Jose Alvarez, 28, machine gunner, Uvalde, Texas 
Pfc. Gabriel C. Clevenger, 21, machine gunner, Picher, Okla. 
Pfc. Alfred Corona, 23, machine gunner, San Antonio. 
Lance Cpl. Jason T. Duke, 28, machine gunner, Sacramento, Calif. 
Lance Cpl. Jesus Gonzalez Sanchez, 27, assault man, San Diego. 
Lance Cpl. Seth G. Jones, 18, assault man, Bend, Ore. 
2nd Lt. Clayton J. Kennedy, 24, platoon commander, Clifton Bosque, Texas 
Lance Cpl. Jorge A. Morin, 21, assault man, McAllen, Texas 
Cpl. Adam C. Neely, 22, rifleman, Winthrop, Wash. 
Pfc. Kenneth O. Paddio, 23, rifleman, Houston. 
Pfc. George P. Santos, 24, rifleman, Long Beach, Calif. 
Pfc. Keoki P. Santos, 24, rifleman, Grand Ronde, Ore. 
Cpl. Can Soler, 21, rifleman, Palm City, Fla. 
Pvt. Adam L. Tatro, 19, rifleman, Brownwood, Texas 

From Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif.: 
Cpl. Eric J. Martinez, 21, a field radio operator, Marine Wing Communications Squadron 38, Marine Air Control Group 38, Williams, Ariz. 

Maj. John A. Brow, 39, pilot, Marine Helicopter Squadron 1, California, Md. 
Maj. Brooks S. Gruber, 34, pilot, Marine Helicopter Squadron 1, Jacksonville, N.C. 
Cpl. Kelly S. Keith, 22, aircraft crew chief, Marine Helicopter Squadron 1, Florence, S.C. 
Staff Sgt. William B. Nelson, 30, aerial observer/mechanic, Marine Tilt-Rotor Training Squadron 204, Richmond, Va.


Mission Statement

Members of the Marine Corps League join together in camaraderie and fellowship for the purpose of preserving the traditions and promoting the interests of the United States Marine Corps, banding together those who are now serving in the United States Marine Corps and those who have been honorably discharged from that service that they may effectively promote the ideals of American freedom and democracy, voluntarily aiding and rendering assistance to all Marines, FMF Corpsmen and former Marines and FMF Corpsmen and to their widows and orphans; and to perpetuate the history of the United States Marine Corps and by fitting acts to observe the anniversaries of historical occasions of particular interest to Marines.



The Marine Corps League perpetuates the traditions and spirit of ALL Marines and Navy FMF Corpsmen, who proudly wear or who have worn the eagle, globe and anchor of the Corps. It takes great pride in crediting its founding in 1923 to World War I hero, then Major General Commandant John A. Lejeune. It takes equal pride in its Federal Charter, approved by An Act of the Seventy-Fifth Congress of the United States of America and signed and approved by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on August 4, 1937. The League is the only Federally Chartered Marine Corps related veterans organization in the country. Since its earliest days, the Marine Corps League has enjoyed the support and encouragement of the active duty and Reserve establishments of the U. S. Marine Corps. Today, the League boasts a membership of more than 76,000 men and women, officer and enlisted, active duty, Reserve Marines, honorably discharged Marine Veterans and qualified Navy FMF Corpsmen and is one of the few Veterans Organizations that experiences increases in its membership each year.

The Marine Corps League is headed by an elected National Commandant, with 14 elected National Staff Officers who serve as trustees. The National Board of Trustees coordinates the efforts of 49 department, or state, entities and the activities of over 1100 community-based detachments located throughout the United States and overseas. The day-to-day operations of the League are under the control of the National Executive Director with the responsibility for the management and direction of all programs, activities, and affairs of the Marine Corps League as well as supervising the National Headquarters staff.

The prime authority of the League is derived from its Congressional charter and from its annual National Convention held each August in different major U.S. cities throughout the nation. It is a not-for-profit organization within the provisions of the Internal Revenue Service Code 501(c) (4), with a special group exemption letter which allows for contributions to the Marine Corps League, its Auxiliary and subsidiary units, to be tax deductible by the donor.

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