Wichita — The U.S. Marine Corps has confirmed that a Wichita man was one of three Marines lost when their aircraft crashed off the coast of Australia.
Cpl. Nathan Ordway, 21, was the crew chief of the MV-22 Osprey that crashed while trying to land during a training exercise on Aug. 5, the Wichita Eagle reported.
Ordway and two other Marines have been declared dead. A recovery mission is underway. More than 20 other passengers on the aircraft were rescued after the crash.
Ordway’s mother, Kathy Ordway, said Thursday that if there’s one thing she knows for sure, it’s that her son died helping others.
“I guarantee he was helping,” she said.
Kathy Ordway said her son loved being a Marine, and that while he had a serious look on his face, his sense of humor set him apart.
“His commanding officer called me from the ship and was just going on about how Nathan could always make people laugh, he was always so fun to be around,” Kathy Ordway said. “He said he was funny to the point of being goofy.”
She said Nathan always looked forward to calling home and spending time with family.
“He would want to Skype for ours,” said Val Reed, his grandmother.
Kathy Ordway said Nathan wanted to eventually buy land and build his family and himself houses so they can be close together. Now his family is working together to keep each other strong.
“We just want to get him home,” Reed said.